• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Advice on achieving better drainage in 2ft hugelkulture raised bed  RSS feed

 
Rich Schindel
Posts: 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hello all,

First post. Thanks in advance.

Just built (2) cedar 4' x 8' x 2' raised beds. (Dug down one foot and buried wood to give it the hugekultur advantage, so in a way these beds are 3 feet deep.) Lined the insides with the black anti-weed wrap to help prevent weeds growing out any cracks. Lastkly, I purchased a few cubic yards of a combo of black soil and topsoil to fill the beds in with.

After a significant downpour I'm getting pooling on the top of about an inch or so. My questions are:
1. Do you feel the drainage issue is caused from the soil and/or the weed-barrier?
2. How would you recommend I remedy this? Can amending the soil with vermiculite or sand help? Do I need to dig up the whole beds, or could I just add to the top foot or so?

Would really appreciate the advice. Thanks all!
 
Craig Dobbson
master steward
Posts: 1737
Location: Maine (zone 5)
178
chicken dog food preservation forest garden hugelkultur rabbit trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I tried the weed cloth last year and had a lot of trouble with water running off of it. I mulched over it with a LOT of dried grass, which seemed to help keep the water from running off until it soaked through the fabric.

I cut my fields a couple times per year when the grass gets about 4ft high. Let it dry for a week or so. Rake it up into windrows and then wait til it rains. After a good soaking I put it in all the paths and gardens.

This year I dug out all of the fabric and intend to just use the grass cuttings. In my opinion, the fabric was more trouble than it was worth.
 
Willy Kerlang
Posts: 106
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't quite understand why the water would be pooling on the TOP if your fabric is on the bottom. Maybe I'm not visualizing your setup correctly, but that would suggest that the entire box is filled with water, which doesn't make sense--unless you are getting huge amounts of rainfall. The question that comes to my mind is: Why isn't the water at least percolating down through the soil and sitting on the bottom? So I am guessing that the issue is with your soil content. Amending it would be the way to go, in that case. Did you pack the soil down very hard, or something like that?
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'd stick a fork or pointed rod down through that weed barrier in several places, it is probably acting like a pool liner
 
Rich Schindel
Posts: 6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sorry all, I should clarify. I have lined the inside walls, but not the bottom of the bed. The hopes that this would prevent and weeds or unwanteds from growing out the sides of the beds through the cracks.
 
David Miller
Posts: 286
Location: Harrisonburg, VA
2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It sounds like your problem is a hydrophobic layer of soil on the very top profile in the bed. I'd just add whatever mulch you have, that should allow infiltration while also breaking down whatever it is that is causing the hydrophobia.
 
2017 Permaculture Design Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!