• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Hugel on sandy soil

 
Amber Cairns
Posts: 9
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I live in an area of Texas with vary sandy soil. not near the coast but sandy ll the same. Any attempts we have made at improving soil quality simply melt away into the sand with the first big rain. It's vary discouraging. I'm wondering if a hugel bed could be the answer. Since I have "soil" to speak of I would bring in soil/compost and put that over my wood/log base. I'm concerned I will have the same result though and be left with wood sitting on sand after the soil has washed into the sand with the rain. Dose anyone out there have any thoughts or have you tried a hugel bed on sandy soil? What were your results? Any advice or comments would be appreciated.
PS: yes, I know this is not ideal homesteading land but we are stuck here for now.
 
Michael Newby
gardener
Pie
Posts: 634
Location: Mount Shasta, CA Zone 8a Mediterranean climate
106
books chicken duck forest garden greening the desert hugelkultur trees woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
With sandy soil it might help to take a cue from the sheet mulching side of things and lay down a layer of wetted cardboard/newspaper first to act as a barrier to nutrient leaching. By the time that layer has broken down if you did the hugelbed right there should be plenty of microbial action in the pile to keep the nutrients available for the plants - just keep chop'n'dropp'n over the years to keep a steady supply of organic matter.
 
Eric Markov
Posts: 100
Location: Bay Area CA zone 9
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Buried wood probably won't get washed away and should help sandy soil a lot.

I'd dig in lots of wood chips also.

Here's an idea for using stumps in sand that could help out right away before the wood rots:

http://lowcostvegetablegarden.blogspot.com/2013/03/burying-stumps-in-sandy-soil.html







 
Lance Bozek
Posts: 12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Amber,

A couple thoughts come to mind. I am visiting my family in FL this week and have been having conversations with them about building their soil. They are just starting the process of thinking about growing a garden and have not done so before.

The issue with your soil washing away into the sand... Have you considered or used any kind of mulch on top of your soil? Leaves, wood chips, or dried grass clippings could help distribute and soak up the water when it rains so that there is less to wash away the soil into the sand. Combine that with Michael's recommendation of sheet mulching and you have yourself a solid container garden that should hold up any rain.


If you were to try the hugelkultur method I would recommend wood chips to fill the voids of the branches and/or sheets of straw to cover them so the soil has something to sit on, this way it does not fall into the cracks.

I did not want to hijack your post so I started my own on hugelkultur with questions about doing it in NW Florida.
http://www.permies.com/t/23280/hugelkultur/Hugelkultur-Florida#188202

There may be responses that get posted there which would also be helpful to you.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic