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Hugelkultur as window boxes?

 
Karen Davies
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I am wondering about trying hugelkultur in the window baskets of my council flat. They are basically iron railing baskets concreted into the outside walls that you can use to hold pots or boxes. One of mine faces NW while the other two face SW, and each has about 1ft x 4ft of surface area and maybe 18" of depth if I filled the whole basket. My main problem trying to cultivate them last year was that the SW ones dried out extremely quickly, and when you water them most of the water drips right through. They are also awkward to access from inside the building. Does this sound a likely adaptation for hugelkultur?
 
Miles Flansburg
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Howdy Karen, Sounds like an interesting experiment to me. Give it a try and let us know how it turns out.
 
Judith Browning
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Wecome to Permies.com, Karen. I am planning to refill the window box on my husbands shop with wood and compost this year and probably plant some strawberries in it. But I have never tried it before. The wood I use will be rotting not fresh but it will still be an experiment and I won't be out much if it fails. So, as Wyomiles said "give it a try". There is another thread about hugel pots that might give you some ideas. I don't think you would have the pill bug problem that some are with planters up off of the ground
 
Roxanne Sterling-Falkenstein
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Location: Cave Junction, Oregon
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I think that it will work well, if you use rotted wood as mentioned above and perhaps add some sawdust as a thin layer at the bottom to slow the water from running out too quickly. Some folx add coffee filters or newspaper as a liner on the bottom of pots to keep contents inside until they settle. Choice of plants will also help them do better in that kind of placement. I'd go old-school with mostly tough perennials like geraniums, salvias, trailing verbena, sweet potato vine, nasturtiums, they enjoy some baking, many culinary herbs also make great displays. Your dirt layer should be deep and rich enough to get plants off to a solid start. Welcome to Permies!!
Roxanne
 
Cris Bessette
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Location: North Georgia / Appalachian mountains , Zone 7A
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I saw the title of your message and laughed picturing chunky big logs with dirt piled on them, hanging from windows.

I think the basic idea is sound though, just not hugelkultur.

You probably just want to add more organic materials that absorb water to the soil (not necessarily chunks of wood)
Maybe peat moss, newspaper on the bottom, and the top of the soil covered so that it does not dry out.


I'm really not sure hugelkultur would work on that small of a scale.
 
Galadriel Freden
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Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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I'm actually trying it this year with my window box, too. I put in a layer of sticks and twigs and wadded newspaper, then filled it with compost. I'm interested to see how it goes; I'll be planting some herbs, flowers, and cherry tomatoes in mine.
 
Galadriel Freden
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Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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My first year hugulkulture window boxes were fairly successful. One had just geraniums and sweet peppers, and the other had a mix of herbs, flowers, and cherry tomatoes. Both window boxes face south, and have been protected from the frost by their proximity to the house, so they're both still full of greenery, with a few flowers still open. I had to water them fairly often during the summer, but I haven't watered them at all this winter; they get by just fine with what rainfall they can catch. The peppers and tomatoes were nicely flavored, though a small yield. The herbs were more productive, and the parsley's still going strong.

The above photo from the summer, and the following photo is the other box in early summer. The boxes are quite deep, but not very wide.
 
Will Scoggins
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Location: Northeast Arkansas
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It would probably be beneficial to soak the sticks (or whatever organic material you go with) in water for a few days (or from now till planting), to hopefully water-log them.
 
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