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safely building Hugelkultur on the Side of a Hill

 
Chris Watson
Posts: 85
Location: North of Detroit (5b to 6a)
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Sorry if this has been asked/answered before. I haven't found it in my searching thus far.

How can you safely form hugelkultur berms on the side of a hill? Trees have a round cross-section and… well, round things tend to roll down hills.
 
Jordan Lowery
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Location: zone 7
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Dig Swales. Fill Swales with wood. Cover with earth. Simple as that.
 
Brenda Groth
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Location: North Central Michigan
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you could use stumps (flat large) or posts dug into the soil to stabilize the hugelbed to keep it from rolling..you also could (hard work) split your wood lengthwise to make it flat on one side..?

I have flat land..so no worries here..

I have seen most people that have photographed hugel beds on hills or mountains have terraced the land flat where the beds are built
 
Chris Watson
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Location: North of Detroit (5b to 6a)
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But that would destroy my brilliant idea! I was thinking about a series of hugel swales (flush with the hillside) uphill from hugel berms on a steep grade (maybe 30% or so) to contain as much water as possible. My idea was to plant perennials on the swales (raspberries, mostly - I love me some raspberries) and annuals on the berms.

This is all theoretical and may never happen; it depends on the land I end up buying. I'm still transitioning to a less-consumeristic lifestyle. My wife and I will probably be looking for our land sometime in April or May. However, some parts of Lower Michigan are very hilly, so I thought this idea might be worth trying.
 
Chris Watson
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Location: North of Detroit (5b to 6a)
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Brenda, you snuck in there while I was typing. Splitting long logs is a beastly job, but if it's the right thing to do, then I will.
 
Eric Markov
Posts: 100
Location: Bay Area CA zone 9
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1/2" Rebar


This newly constructed hillside hugelbed was dug 2 - 3' deep and goes up about 3'. Logs held in place by 4' rebar rods hammered into the ground.







 
Chris Watson
Posts: 85
Location: North of Detroit (5b to 6a)
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The rebar and logs is probably the way to go. With my idea, digging under the berms would defeat the purpose.
 
Izzy Vale
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If you have any cedar (juniper) you could nail that into the ground, small end down. They usually have very long branches, and are quite strong. We use that out here for fence posts, and I should think that would work quite well for your project.
 
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