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hugelkultur: advice on watering when building?

 
Posts: 13
Location: Southwest Michigan
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Hi All! This is my first post on this forum. I own a suburban micro-farm and am in the process of creating hugelkultur beds for use in the spring. Because I'm in the suburbs, appearance is important, so I dug pits (approximately 3 feet deep), filled them with rotting logs (mostly maple) and I'm now ready to fill them with sod, leaves, compost, etc. But before I start piling these things on, I have a question. Everything I've read includes a step where you "thoroughly water" the logs before adding soil, etc. How much water is needed to "thoroughly wet" them? It has been lightly raining and snowing here on and off for the last week (between 1/4 and 1/2 inches of rain in the last week). The next three days are going to be in the mid 40s so I hope to finish everything this week. Do you think three or four days of light rain is enough to 'thoroughly wet' the beds, or should I get the hose out? Thanks in advance for your help!
 
Posts: 16
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I'm no expert, but I would imagine that a good rain would enable the logs beneath a completed hugelculture bed to soak up far more water than they would have from getting hosed down before being covered up on a dry day.
 
Posts: 1400
Location: Verde Valley, AZ.
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always a good idea to build in a rock channel at the lowest point, to funnel water down to the logs.

it will silt up after a while naturally, to cut down on evaporation

if it is a critical bed, you can put in some drip hose to refill in dry season, if you have one.

since it is 3 ft down, you could char that wood too....

that deep, you are not killing soil bacteria, just keep it small, and dont burn off all the bark. look for cross checking, and stop there. (box shaped charcoal on bark)

 
Katie Shank
Posts: 13
Location: Southwest Michigan
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Thanks to both of you! I passed on hosing the beds down and went ahead and finished them. Here's an update on what I did: http://www.arcadia-farms.net/2012/12/18/update-hugelkultur-on-a-micro-farm/

Fingers-crossed that it pays off during the next growing season!

Thanks again
 
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