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building a small hugelkultur bed

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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My son and I began building a baby hugel bed on Monday. Joel has scraggly front lawn so we removed the nice clover filled sod and moved it to his front yard. Then we dug out the 18" of rich black topsoil and set it aside..we were then down to sand and water table.

Day 2 on Tuesday there was a little water in the bed hole, and we began filling the hole with punky logs from our woodpile, with bark, old wet cardboard boxes, sawdust, branches and some wood chips.

Today was day 3, Wednesday, and we got more logs and stuff into the hole and up about 3' above ground leve on the left side, still need to add more logs to the right side. We began backfilling the left side to see how it would go (not going to be 6' tall Paul..just not enough stuff to put in, but when you figure it is about 2' deep plus about 2' - 3' above ground there is about 4' of logs in there plus about a foot of soil on top).

We will try to find more logs to bring the level on the right side up to level with the left side and then backfill that area too..after filling we will cover the top with compost, grass clippings and shredded leaves..etc.

This is just about 25' east of my east deck and my pear trees planted along my deck railing..I also hope to put 2 peach trees in this area in the future by or on the edge of the hugel bed.
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Brenda Groth
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Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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the base of the bed will be around 6 to 7' wide, I hope to put some plastic edgeing down to keep the grasses and weeds from growing into the bed and taking it over..I hope to put some peach trees on the west side of this mound, hoping that the mound will help to protect the peach trees from late spring frosts, this area drains down to the pond to the north (left)..and there is one piece of drainage tile that goes east to the ditch from the SE corner of this bed (left).

Getting older I wanted this bed closer to the house as my main vegetable area now is in the food forest 200' north of our house, and this will be 25' east, near my greenhouse and much easier to access as I get older. This is just a few steps from my laundry room deck. We have to leave a lawn drive area between the deck and pear trees, and this bed, as this is our firewood loading access road, our woodshed and our greenhouse are just to the left of this photo.

I have some winter wheat seed and some other winter crops I hope to seed into this bed after I get it built and mulched...and I hope to buy 2 hardy peaches and I'll put some comfrey and rhubarb at the base of those.
 
Eric Markov
Posts: 100
Location: Bay Area CA zone 9
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Looks good.

Wish I had one of those tractors. I'm currently digging 2' deep hugelbeds with a hand shovel.

My pictures would be labelled week 1, week 2, .... instead of day 1, day 2, ....


 
Brenda Groth
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Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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Eric, yes I am blessed. We were able to buy the tractor with inheritance $ when my MIL died and it is probably the very best investment we have ever made (other than our house and land for $8,000 in 71)

Joel is a real pro at running the tractor (my son)..and I am so grateful for all he has done with it.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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finished except mulch and planting
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Mary Ann Asbill
Posts: 123
Location: Western North Carolina
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Very nice. I want the tractor! We made a tiny hugel bed using sticks and bark pieces. We pulled the dirt aside in a raised garden bed and just stuffed it full putting layers of dirt as we went. We had okra planted over it this summer and just cut the okra off and planted kale there for winter. Your hugel bed is nice looking. What will you plant for winter? And then, what do you plan for next summer?
 
Brenda Groth
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Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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right now I'm working through the list of things to put on THIS bed for winter, and preparing mulch to cover the bare soil as well.

I know I'm going to put some winter wheat on it, I have a small seed packet of winter wheat, enough for a small spot just for trying it..so I'm thinking of using that..I also plan to ..right before winter ground freezes, when it is cold enough so things won't sprout until spring, put on some seeds for spring growing plants that can be planted and left over winter like peas and lettuces. I also plan to plant perennials on the bed and other things, but right now just trying to get it covered with mulch
 
Mary Ann Asbill
Posts: 123
Location: Western North Carolina
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Post more photos once you get it planted. And...more photos next spring. I would like to see how it progresses. Have a good rest of the week. We finally have a bit of sunshine here.
 
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