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Please Critique This New Bed

 
Blake Kirby
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I'd like comments on how I built this and comments on what types of plant would go on the North and South... if that's ok.

 
Blake Kirby
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oh... I plan on putting at least two berry bushes in it.
 
Blake Kirby
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I came here for the experts. I know you guys have some good advice... and I did say please.
 
Judith Browning
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Hi, Blake, sometimes it takes awhile to get that first response..I don't know why. Hang in there. I am a beginner at HK so no help for you, I'm afraid.
 
Miles Flansburg
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Hey Blake I couldn't find your you tube link. Sorry I am not very good at links.
 
Blake Kirby
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoOZHU9FcTA

Does that help?

I know things take a while... it was just a gentle reminder

I appreciate the time people put into these sites to help others out.
 
R Scott
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Welcome.

It can take a lot of time to get responses in some topics, as the experts are out DOING and not on the computer all day--or even all week. That is just part of the funkiness of permies--adds to the streetcred
 
Miles Flansburg
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OK Blake got it that time. Looks great so far. It is going to settle as the water from rain or sprinklers start to move the soil into the bed. ( might want to be sure it has had a chance to have water soak in before planting) Some folks layer dirt as they build so that there is lots of dirt/log contact and less voids to settle. As you can probably guess the north side will be colder and south hotter so plant accordingly. Lettuce on north ,tomatoes on south, etc. However many people put in poly cultures, a mixture of all sorts of things , and let nature decide. So since you are experimenting already, feel free to mix things up and let us know how it turns out.
 
Blake Kirby
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R Scott wrote:Welcome.

It can take a lot of time to get responses in some topics, as the experts are out DOING and not on the computer all day--or even all week. That is just part of the funkiness of permies--adds to the streetcred


I gots no street cred.... I have to sit in front of a computer 8 hours a day. I play like a real farmer in the evening and on the weekend.
 
Blake Kirby
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Wyomiles Hogan wrote:OK Blake got it that time. Looks great so far. It is going to settle as the water from rain or sprinklers start to move the soil into the bed. ( might want to be sure it has had a chance to have water soak in before planting) Some folks layer dirt as they build so that there is lots of dirt/log contact and less voids to settle. As you can probably guess the north side will be colder and south hotter so plant accordingly. Lettuce on north ,tomatoes on south, etc. However many people put in poly cultures, a mixture of all sorts of things , and let nature decide. So since you are experimenting already, feel free to mix things up and let us know how it turns out.


Thanks for that. I figure the berry bushes will go on the south with a mix of other things. Lettuce on the north is a good idea if I can keep the chickens out of it LOL
 
R Scott
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Blake Kirby wrote:
R Scott wrote:Welcome.

It can take a lot of time to get responses in some topics, as the experts are out DOING and not on the computer all day--or even all week. That is just part of the funkiness of permies--adds to the streetcred


I gots no street cred.... I have to sit in front of a computer 8 hours a day. I play like a real farmer in the evening and on the weekend.


Me, too. That is why I answered in the middle of the day

Put in cover crop seeds ASAP. You want the stuff that works for you to get a chance before the existing grass and weed seeds start to take off again. Nitrogen fixers and stabilizing roots at a minimum if you are not ready for the real planting.

Go buy a bag of black eyed peas from the grocery store and toss them out while you think what else to do.
 
Dan Grubbs
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Glad to see you made it here, Blake. I tell you, I can spend hours reading the great info from the folks here at permies. I love reading and learning here. See ya over at G+, my friend!
 
Blake Kirby
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Dan Grubbs wrote:Glad to see you made it here, Blake. I tell you, I can spend hours reading the great info from the folks here at permies. I love reading and learning here. See ya over at G+, my friend!


Well hello sir
 
Brenda Groth
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couldn't view the video
 
Blake Kirby
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Brenda Groth wrote:couldn't view the video



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoOZHU9FcTA

Try that one
 
Marianne Cicala
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Hey Blake -
satellite internet isn't u-tube friendly. Where are you or what's the growing zone?
M
 
Blake Kirby
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Marianne Cooper wrote:Hey Blake -
satellite internet isn't u-tube friendly. Where are you or what's the growing zone?
M


Oh sorry. I guess I don't think of the Internet issues.

I'm in South Central Texas zone 8b/9
 
Marianne Cicala
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you can plant a ton of stuff right now. Since I can't see the beds, I'll assume there's plenty of dirt. For quick cover, get some cowpeas - they're super cheap. you can also do strawberries, potatoes (kennebach do very well there), onions and every herb imaginable. Be carefull though where & if you plant dill. because of the heat y'all have, i'd put blue & blackberries where they'd get late afternoon shade - maybe on the back (north)edges. they'll be happier with a bit of shade as your nights don't get cool enough to allow them to recoup from the heat. Good luck!
 
Scott Stiller
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Bed looks great. Would cowpeas or other cover planted now interfere with planting in the spring?
 
Marianne Cicala
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I suggested cowpeas rather than a crop of clover (which he'd never get rid of in zone 8, not to mention clover is like chocolate to deer) cause it would help stop run-off while his spring crops get established, especially on the sides on the bearm. . The pea vines can be pulled easily when the dirt is wet to open up space.
 
Scott Stiller
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Thanks Marianne, will plant some this week. Sorry to hijack your post Mr Kirby.
 
Blake Kirby
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Scott Stiller wrote:Thanks Marianne, will plant some this week. Sorry to hijack your post Mr Kirby.


I don't mind the hijack
 
Kevin MacBearach
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Thanks for the video Blake, I'm jealous of that tractor. I also have some new hugelbeds that I'm trying to figure out what and when to plant. I noticed you used a lot of leaves in yours, I dumped a bunch on top of my only cause I was concerned that inside there could be a danger of a glee-layer being formed. But maybe that isn't the case. I was worried, as someone posted earlier, that without a softer medium added along with the pieces of wood, that there would be too much empty spaces. I do have lots of leaves right now so maybe I'll start adding to the new one I'm building.

I guess I should go get a bag of black eyed peas for a cover crop as I was going to just throw whatever seeds I have laying around here. I will the cover crop be done by spring?
 
Alice Kaspar
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I am about to put out my spring veggie seeds, and I'm just a bit farther south. I think you should mulch this with old hay, water it, and get your plants/seeds in for spring.
 
Blake Kirby
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Kevin you are one up on me. I'm not even sure what a glee-layer is. I have a bag of black beans ready to go... Just gotta do it.
 
Blake Kirby
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Alice Kaspar wrote:I am about to put out my spring veggie seeds, and I'm just a bit farther south. I think you should mulch this with old hay, water it, and get your plants/seeds in for spring.


I'm picking up a load of wood mulch tomorrow. I'll put the black beans in then. When the berry plants arrive I'll pull the beans and pout those in. ... Sound about right?
 
Alice Kaspar
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How much growing time are the bean plants going to have? Our dewberry plants are putting on leaves already.

What I'm saying is..... plant your spring garden. You don't have time for a cover crop.
 
Blake Kirby
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Alice Kaspar wrote:How much growing time are the bean plants going to have? Our dewberry plants are putting on leaves already.

What I'm saying is..... plant your spring garden. You don't have time for a cover crop.



Ahh I get ya. ... But I don't know when the plants are coming. I could just mulch it and wait.
 
Kevin MacBearach
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Blake Kirby wrote:Kevin you are one up on me. I'm not even sure what a glee-layer is. I have a bag of black beans ready to go... Just gotta do it.



A glee-layer is when you add lots of soft material (matted rotting leaves, hay, or grass) and it forms a seal that water just goes around it and everything under it stays dry as a bone. It's one of the techniques that pond builders will use to create a natural seal on their ponds.
 
Kevin MacBearach
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So from what everyone is saying, It looks like I should get my ass in gear and get those seeds on the hugelbed. I have just leaf mulch on top of this hugelbed that I made 4 months ago. It's been gettingrained on pretty much the whole 4 months so it's quite saturated. Should I just spread the seeds under the layer of leaves and let it do it's thing? There is quite a bit of 4 month old chicken manure inside the bed, so I'm hoping nitrogen won't be too lacking.

I would also like to plant blueberries and similar plants in this one, anything particular I need to know about hugelkulturs and berry bushes?
 
Blake Kirby
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Kevin MacBearach wrote:... anything particular I need to know about hugelkulturs and berry bushes?


I'm looking for that in particular too. What I have so far is that I'm planting the blackberries on the North and the Goji berries on the South. I will be experimenting with flowers and Sweet Potatoes and other items in around the berries as well.
 
Kevin MacBearach
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Being in Oregon it's hard to hear that someone is going to purposely plant blackberries. But anyway, I dodn't think it would matter much to them where on the hugelbed they were planted.

I hear that root crops are the best thing to plant the first year of the bed, but I could be wrong.

I'm going to have 3 hugelbeds going from north to south about 3 feet apart from each other.
 
Blake Kirby
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Here is a video showing the next steps for this bed.

http://youtu.be/7EQNxypQkwI

Basically, I took steps to correct how water flows into and around the bed, then covered it with mulch.

There is a little bonus at the end... the start of my second bed
 
Kevin MacBearach
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That's a lot of mulch! Do you know what types of wood the mulch is made from?

I used clumps of leaves on top of mine instead of mulch. Now I'm wondering how to plant seeds in it with all the leaves clumping up into big masses.
 
Blake Kirby
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I don't know what the wood is. Is there a bad kind?
 
Kevin MacBearach
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Yes, anything from conifers would be inhibit growth cause they're allopathic. Plus there could be other stuff in the mix you don't know about. That's one of the reasons I'm very wary of bringing stuff onto my soil from from outside sources (thus the reason I opted for leaves on my hugelbed).
 
Blake Kirby
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I see. Well, my guess is that this is mostly Oak, Ash, Hackberry, Weesatch, Mequite. These are very common for the area. Of course, I don't know for sure. There is a chance there is some cedar in there as well, but normally i can tell when it's full of cedar. This batch didn't seem to have much in it.

I'll just have to wait and see how it does. Thanks for the heads up.

 
Blake Kirby
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I finally got to plant the HK beds! The Goji berries, Black berries and Dew berries are in.

Here is a video documenting the planting process.

http://youtu.be/gJ_QzFICkMQ
 
Miles Flansburg
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Good job Blake. Did you get any water on the hugels? Justs seems like the soil you planted into was mighty dry. I usually water my trees and schrubs when I plant them just to be sure they get a good drink and to settle the soil around the roots to get the air out.
 
Blake Kirby
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Miles Flansburg wrote:Good job Blake. Did you get any water on the hugels? Justs seems like the soil you planted into was mighty dry. I usually water my trees and schrubs when I plant them just to be sure they get a good drink and to settle the soil around the roots to get the air out.


Thanks! Yes, I watered them in that day and the next day. The soil down in the bed has been watered in a good number of times. These beds have been sitting there now for a couple of months.
 
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