Tracy said Go ahead and use whatever organic matter you have. You do not have to use a lot of soil. You don’t have to put soil throughout the bed as you build it. You can use some other form of organic matter. We built buried wood beds (basically an underground hugelkultur bed). We don’t have any soil, just sand, so we used alder chips, grass mowings, year-old Scotch broom wood chips and year-old grass/leaves/weeds that were breaking down nicely, and sand, to fill in between the logs and branches. The beds were then topped off with about two feet of the year-old mix, with a little sand, a little clay, and compost. And it grew an amazing garden the first year. The only soil that went into the bed was what went in with the transplants. Basically it was 2 feet of mulchy compost type stuff. It needed to be watered, as the bed was built in May and planted in June, and didn’t have the winter to absorb water.
Anastasia Elliott wrote:Thank you all for your replies. Anne, your links were helpful! I calculated the area I am working with and it's about 18 cubic yards that I need to fill (a gradual slope from 5' high). I am planning to find free fill dirt to put at the bottom. Is this something you would recommend? Is rocks ok to use too? What would you not recommend I put there? I just don't think I'll be able to find 18 cubic yards of good organic matter. Then on top of the fill dirt I'm planning to put some fallen and cut trees from around, plus brunches and brush. My question is how and with what do I cover all this to make it nice and smooth? I also have a truck of mulch coming and I signed up for ChipDrop for free wood chips. I am just overwhelmed with the amount I need to fill and puzzled with where to get so much good dirt to cover 2,300 square feet on the top???
George Yacus wrote:If you are in need of leaf mulch (pretty finely shredded) or more wood mulch, the city of Alexandria has free pick up:
"Both leaf and wood mulch are now available for pickup, free of charge, at our self-serve mulch facility, located at 4215 Eisenhower Ave. "
Mike Barkley wrote:I would be very cautious about the source of any materials coming from external locations. Wouldn't want to import disease or toxic chemicals. I think some topsoil will help add minerals & worms & provide a bit of stability. I've always mixed leaf mulch into new gardens & then add a thick layer on top. It seems to work well.
Anastasia Elliott wrote:Ok, I thought about it a little more. I am not planning to use this Hugel bed for a couple of years. So, I do not think now that I need top soil. I will just do what I described above, minus the top soil, even out the slope and wait. That should turn into good soil, right? I do not need to add any dirt/soil, as far as I understand after reading your comments. I will be adding my kitchen scraps, grass clippings and leaf mulch to it. It would be nice to cover it with wood chips on top. I guess I'll have to rake the wood chips in order to keep mixing in this additional stuff and then rake the wood chips back? Thanks.
Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Besides Paul and Sepp's wisdom, I can say this, I talked to a guy about hugekultur who live in the DC-ish area and he said it works but it has to be 7' tall to work at all. In other words, don't even bother if you're not going all th way with it, from his experience.
could any of you recommend someone to come to my place near DC and help me decide what to do with the space around my house. I would like to have a homestead farm. Thanks!
what if we put solar panels on top of the semi truck trailer? That could power this tiny ad:
Simple Home Energy Solutions, battery bank videoshttps://permies.com/wiki/151158/Simple-Home-Energy-Solutions-battery