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Hard clay soil into Hugelkultur...ish

 
Paulo Silva
Posts: 30
Location: Country: Portugal. City: Tomar
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So my soil is all hard clay, almost no top soil and it's all turning into desert because of the lack of rain.

I start to dig like crazy last year, forgive me for not following the real Hugelkultur from Sepp , here's one example, it was dug in 5 of January 2012







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Clay removed and some wood put inside
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Covered with layers of straw, manure and compost, some of the original clay was put on top later
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Around it I put old bricks and planted physalis
 
Paulo Silva
Posts: 30
Location: Country: Portugal. City: Tomar
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I already have more like that one, the place is sort of a food forest, there are physalis, grapes, apples, cherry, plums, peaches, olives, gojis, quince, aromatic plants, loquats, Jerusalem artichokes, pomegrantes, apricot, mulberry, oranges ...

There's also a lake I made with 6 frogs and at least 1 tree frog near by, planted Watercress on it and aquatic plants (they keep the water from going bad and without algae), the frogs keep some of the pest controlled, it also has some dragonflies and their nymphs on the water controlling the mosquito larvae.



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6 physalis full of fruit
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The aspect of it all weeks ago, also got a herb spiral
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herb spiral
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Pie
Posts: 8854
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Looks good to me! I also have buried wood throughout my garden and it's made a tremendous improvement.

 
Mike Underhill
Posts: 53
Location: N. Sac. Valley
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That looks great, Paulo! It's tough workin' that red clay. Our physalis ground cherries are just about ready, so I'm guessing that the fruits or your labor are too.
 
Paulo Silva
Posts: 30
Location: Country: Portugal. City: Tomar
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Mike Sawley wrote:That looks great, Paulo! It's tough workin' that red clay. Our physalis ground cherries are just about ready, so I'm guessing that the fruits or your labor are too.


Yes it's hard to dig, I do it alone only with my hands and some tools, my trick is working and listening to Paul Wheaton podcast and others similar

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physalis fruit
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physalis fruit after the first bite
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One of my goji with fruit and flowers
 
Eric Markov
Posts: 100
Location: Bay Area CA zone 9
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Nice photos. Your soil looks similar to mine. Also in a dry climate and only a shovel to work with. The sunken hugel beds have worked very well for me also.
 
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