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Stumped

 
Nate Kavan
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Location: PDX
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So I've got a stump covered in some lovely English ivy and some random lumber that I was planning on using as fire wood from a reclaimed crate that isn't treated and piled up near my house. I also have some shrubs that are not doing much for me in the south east corner of my Portland back yard along with some sticks from a powdery mildue bush out front and some random Xmas tree/holly tree trimmings I removed. I am thinking about piling everything up around the stump after I cut it in half and covering it with a combo of old pine straw chicken bedding and soil and planting it. Will the stump work as a Hugel or should I pile the wood in the other corner and do something else with the stump?
 
chris cromeens
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Location: north texas 7b now 8a
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yes
 
Sean Banks
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the stump would work....although they also make pretty cool flower pots if you hollow out the center
 
Jonathan 'yukkuri' Kame
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Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
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Sean Banks wrote:the stump would work....although they also make pretty cool flower pots if you hollow out the center


Got an easy method?
 
Nate Kavan
Posts: 28
Location: PDX
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Chris: yes to using the stump in the hugel or yes to leaving it alone and using the other corner? Also interested in the flower pot idea, so any specific method to the hollowing or just get after it with some tools and determination?
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Con Elder
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It looks great. There's an unused old phone post on my farm that is completely covered in ivy. Ivy would surely cover everything if humans leavt the planet.
It's native here, so i always defend it when people are expressing their distaste with its invasiveness - supposedly it can equally damage a tree if you cut it off around the trunk all at once, and it's what birds cling to in stormy weather not the tree itself, as well as supporting the irish mots and other native fauna. Apologies for passionate rant about ivy. I try to balance diversity with food plants on my homestead, so i would keep it for that reason, though guess it might'nt be indigenous where you are?

 
David Hartley
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To hollow out the stump, use hot coals from a nearby camp fire.... Once burned down to desired depth and width, fill with water.
 
Nate Kavan
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Thanks David. I think I'll be doing the mini hugel mound to clean up the wood laying around though. Still haven't made it through the stump. I am using a hand saw and its a warm day so I am in between sessions. We'll see if I feel like starting a fire or mounding once I get the top couple feet sawed off.
 
Dale Hodgins
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In order to expedite decomposition of the stump in a hugel bed, you could nose a chainsaw into it in several spots and then cover it with a wheelbarrow of chicken manure mixed with lime. Cap that stinky mess with other materials and you'll have a nutrient sink similar to those in key hole gardens. The stump will rot in record time. I did this in 95, long before hearing of hugelkultur or key hole gardens. Worked very well.
 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
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Location: North Central Michigan
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be prepared for your hugel bed to be full of english ivy
 
Nate Kavan
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Location: PDX
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Got sidetracked... Decided to try and make a little rocking horseish thing with just a hatchet. Here's the progress...
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Vladimir Horowitz
Posts: 23
Location: N. Idaho, zone 5
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Yes the stumps will work just fine in the hugel. Last spring I created two hugels with stumps. The first utilized about 10 stumps in a slightly curved 30 ft long bed. I just hand trenched around them as best as possible, I filled with wood, threw some cow manure over the stumps and continued on the standard hugel construction. The second was a small volcanic cone looking bed that I made on top of a large stump ny trenching a donut around it, filling with wood, a bit of manure and then dirt. Both performed well last season and are looking even better this year.

My theory with using the stumps is that leaving them intact will create a wicking effect and hold/draw up moisture better. Also it saved me the work of stump excavation.......only downside I found was increased difficulty of excavating the trench due to roots which wouldn't be a big deal if you were machine digging.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
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Location: Western Washington
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Also interested in the flower pot idea, so any specific method to the hollowing or just get after it with some tools and determination?

Hey so my method for stump pots. - it takes some time - but it really works

Set the stump(s) so that the cut face is directly on the ground - touching soil. Forget about for several months. flip it. Repeat. After some time (relative - depending on wood type and conditions) the center rots out and turns into fine planting material. Pill bugs are your friends here. I'll take some photos once I get access to that technology. Basically the Log round still wants to function and capillary action pulls water up the center of the round along with all the soil biology which depends on water. if you have a bunch of them and lay a trap or shade cloth over you'll get an awesome microclimate that newts and fungi will love you for.

chisels and hammers are pretty slick to but I figured I'd give the awe-natural method.

Since that's what this is all about right?
 
George Meljon
Posts: 278
Location: Southern Indiana zone 5b
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We just set up this same idea today and look to continue convert stumps to hugel on afew others that have been hitting mower blades as it is.
 
Landon Sunrich
pollinator
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Location: Western Washington
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Here's two pictures of my suggested stump pot method. It works!
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Dale Hodgins
gardener
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Brenda Groth wrote:be prepared for your hugel bed to be full of english ivy


The idea was to create a hot compost, which would kill the ivy. There are many items that I would never use unless they were hot composted. They include ivy, bamboo roots, willow, morning glory and probably more.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/cards
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