• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources cider press projects digital market permies.com pie forums private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Anne Miller
  • jordan barton
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Greg Martin
  • Steve Thorn
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Leigh Tate
  • Mike Haasl
master gardeners:
  • John F Dean
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Stacie Kim
  • Jay Angler

Why the mound shape?

 
Posts: 24
8
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I harvested potatoes from my hugel mound today.  I've been in a never ending drought this year, and I really thought my mound would do better than it did.  It's in its second full growing season.  I built it in the fall of 2019.  I got to wondering why the mound shape, instead of just a raised flat bed?  I am scratching my head wondering if a lower and flat surfaced bed wouldn't have had a better chance at surviving this drought.  

I seemed to have plants doing better the closer they were to the bottom of the mound.  The top was a near total loss without lots of watering.  
 
gardener
Posts: 1022
Location: North Carolina zone 7
290
hugelkultur forest garden fungi foraging ungarbage
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Good morning. I have some experience with this so I’ll try to help.                                                      I understood hugelkulturs as more a drought proofing system in the beginning. However, the first year I had one was the wettest summer in memory. Everyone’s else’s gardens died while mine thrived! The next year I was so hooked on permaculture that I moved to the sixteen acres I currently sit on. Hugel’s and swales went everywhere but not all thrived. The ones higher on the property suffered while others slightly lower were amazing. The next fall I started making some flat. I dug as deep as possible and loaded the wood in. I used logs, wood chips, compost and the clay I dug out. Then a layer of compost, grass clippings and fall leaves topped it off for the winter. My regret was not planting a winter cover for spring chop and drop. It still did great though. As it settles a little each year I continue to top off every fall with compost and a mix of winter pea and ryegrass. On the lower side I planted elderberries, strawberries and walking onions. The I use my nifty flat hugels as annual beds. Whether in drought or monsoon these work great for me. Keep us posted on your progress. I’d love to see what you come up with!
 
pollinator
Posts: 339
Location: Dry mountains Eastern WA
77
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have to agree with Scott…I made low flat hugels for potatoes this year and they are wonderful!  I have a glut of nice sized fingerlings.  

I do question tall hugels for certain crops and in certain conditions.  I don’t think there’s a one answer for this.  I think it’s more that you suit the hugel to your crop and environment. It’s a method…
 
gardener & hugelmaster
Posts: 2637
Location: Gulf of Mexico cajun zone 8
1130
cattle hugelkultur cat dog trees hunting chicken bee woodworking homestead ungarbage
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
    Number of slices to send:
    Optional 'thank-you' note:
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think one purpose of the tall hump is to provide microclimates. Another is to give the hugel a very long lifetime.

If it had been a rainy season perhaps the top would have done better than the lower levels. Hugels need a lot of extra water their first year or two to help start the green wood decomposition process. Then they become more drought resistant.
gift
 
Justin Rhodes 45 minute video tour of wheaton labs basecamp
will be released to subscribers in: soon!
reply
    Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic