I have been to Paul Gautschi's Back To Eden Garden many times to answer questions for the veiwers of my vlog on youtube. I have hours of footage from interveiws I have done with Paul but, I am looking for more questions to ask him in my next visit in Spring of 2013. Watch my videos, L2Survive with Thatnub and the film at Back to Eden Film and if you still have questions about Paul Gautschi's methods, please leave them in the comments. Here is the first interveiw I had with Paul.
I watched the movie yesterday, and today I hauled in two loads of compost and one load of wood chips from the city recycling yard. The spot I filled in was an area where I took the sod for a hugelkultur, 15'x30'. I got more plans, thank Paul very much for the movie!
One question: A small percentage of the wood chips were actually larger sticks/branches, maybe 1/4" diameter, and a few inches long. Will this become a problem seeing they are on the surface? And is one inch of chips enough to start?
Soaking up information.
posted 8 years ago
The bigger sticks are no biggie. As you can see in some of the videos on my YouTube page, I have some bigger sticks as well. In the long run it will help to add airation to the ground. One inch of wood chips are better than nothing but, six inches to start is your goal. Don't forget the card board and newspaper. If you are planting a winter crop, do it before you lay down the wood chips then add the wood chips around the plants.
Location: Manitowoc WI USA Zone 5
posted 8 years ago
The ground here will be frozen solid soon, so other than planting garlic and cover crops, we are pretty much limited in terms of gardening.
I was very taken with this beautiful documentary , much like the Farm for the Future one, it made a big impact on me. I am curious if any science has been done regarding if there are sugars in chipped green material or what attracts beneficial microbial, worm and insect life ? (besides the 'covering' of the bare soil). I dug around in an old rotten wood chip riding ring and found no life but plenty of water retention despite the dry lack of raint for over 5 months . So the value of the fibre under the ground and as a cover to prevent evaporation was really impressed on me. But I find rotting vegetaion is what attracts worms and life best. Also I am curious if the chipped wood introduces mycorhrizal life to the soils ?
I struggled to find mulch sources this year but will keep trying. I got one load that was quickly used up mulching young fruittrees to the drip line and applied over corragated cardboard to weight it down as a mulch to cover the ground. So I will see how it goes.
Apparently wood on the soil is best for fungi, and rotting vegetation (compost or chop and drop green mulch) best for bacteria. Both are needed in the garden but fungi are especially important in the forest garden, which emulates the actual forest where fungi are much more prevalent than bacteria. More kinds of fungi seem to like hardwoods than conifers or in any case mixed chips seem to grow more mushrooms in my experience.
Here are a few articles I found on the subject of woodchips and fungi: