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first hugelkultur in sandy soil with scrap firewood?

 
Tim Fortune
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Sorry for posting this I'm sure it's all been discussed before but this is time sensitive for various reasons, trust me. So I started about a 15 foot long with a 7 foot long "L" shape 4 feet deep on the most logical land I had access to, I also had access to some very hard wood, I chucked it all down in there and it's almost even with the top, I just put into works the ordering of large mulch from a man who deals in firewood, his scrap leftover product.... I figured I'd pour all of this to level it up higher.... I have Friday 8/17/12 off. Also toying with he idea of layering in lots of compost and whatever else. Also I will likely throw all of this wood back up, fill in more of the sandy soil so there's only 2 feet deep, put the wood back in and then proceed with the rest of the stuff I mentioned above. I need help from you folks. With what to do and how to do it. Looking to talk with someone about it, maybe send some pics of my layout ideally chat over cell about it. I'm in Franklin county, Verizon cell. One more fact: sandy soil area. I gotta get back to work. Thanks for any help!
 
Tim Fortune
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Never mind I guess.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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sorry you didn't get the responses and help you needed, but I hope you went ahead and built the beds..

throw in anything you can find and mix that sandy soil with whatever organic stuff you can when you cover it back up..and mulch..you should have a great bed for some fall planting or a bed ready for spring..let us know if you were able to get it worked on
 
LaLena MaeRee
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I am still new to hugel myself, but there is a blog that was linked to here on permies from someone who has been doing it and sharing their experiences, I found it for you

Hugel works
 
Geoffrey Haynes
Posts: 15
Location: Kimberley, BC (East Kootenays), Zone 3b
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Why don't you post some pictures, Tim?

I would have posted sooner but I only check this forum about once a week, and I was busy building my own bed.

I planted it with a mix of alfalfa and white clover, and added some mulch to prevent drying. (Necessary in this 32C weather).

It was also newish wood (from earlier this year) so I figure it needs more nitrogen to balance things out. Thinking of putting some garlic in for the fall - one plant that will survive the winter, and not get eaten by deer...
 
Tim Fortune
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Thank you very much everyone. I will try all of this helpful advice. I feel a lot better about all of the sand i have to deal with. I will toss most of the logs up on out of there and layer in the sand and logs, and organic matter, like hugel lasagna. that would allow the mounding I'm looking for without going overboard and buying topsoil and compost. I just want to get this as right as I can. I can't remember if I asked about what the best ideas for nitrogen fixers would be be they plants shrubs or tree, ideally something as useful as possible for my upstate ny Franklin county area. Seeking best advice or at least a trustworthy source to research. Thanks again folks.
 
Geoffrey Haynes
Posts: 15
Location: Kimberley, BC (East Kootenays), Zone 3b
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Where do you live, Tim? (I have never heard of Franklin County).

Alfalfa/Clover/Fava Beans are frequent choices for living mulch/green manure. You can cut them down after they flower. (Some people recommend adding Rhizobium for non-native peas and beans).

In some countries, like Australia, they use leguminous trees, such as Acacia, but I don't know of any where I live.

There are other non-leguminous nitrogen fixers like Buffaloberry, and Silverberry (found in the northern Rockies where I live). No doubt there are others in your area.


Just about any compost would help with the sandy soil.



 
Geoffrey Haynes
Posts: 15
Location: Kimberley, BC (East Kootenays), Zone 3b
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Ah, I missed that, you're in Upstate NY! I have no idea what grows around there, but my book here lists a whole bunch of nitrogen fixers such as Bayberry, Alder, and black locust.
 
Tim Fortune
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Thank you! I will try and put up a pic or two with a common reference tossed in the middle of my hugel pit so you get the size. Just last night I walked a corn maze at a local farm and luckily was able to sit around a fire with two of the farmers and i got great advice from them on what local veg to plant as their farm is 8 minutes away. Here's what I quickly typed down I have to do some more research on this some may be misspelled anyway but this is what I wrote: Red root plants buckwheat pea family. Buckwheat- till it back in for organic matter. Peas, beans, carrots. Squash near outside keep them crawling away from the other plants, zucchini plants, raspberries, (grapes?), blackberries do very well on stone walls. Swisschard.

I forgot to mention I have a 7 foot stone wall that is very long perpendicular to my hugel. Will probably manually dig another hugel parallel to make use of the stone wall. Thanks, I gotta punch in for work now.
 
Rick Freeman
Posts: 103
Location: NW Montana, Hardiness Zone 4b
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Tim, I wouldn't remove the wood to pack in the soil. I have sandy soil, too, to which I mixed lots of organic materials then washed them into the hugel beds with water. The more wood the better! Rick
 
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