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Hugelkultur over concrete?

 
E. Gordon
Posts: 3
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Hi all,

I have scraped together enough money to get my first piece of owned-land in the concrete jungle of East Baltimore. The yard is about 800 square feet and almost entirely concrete. For various reasons, removing the concrete isn't feasible, at least for the first few years. However, I was thinking of covering the vast majority of the space with a quite tall (though not for hugelkultur, about 3.5 feet) raised bed.

Do you think a wood-core bed makes sense for this application? And given that my max soil depth will only ever really be about 3.5 feet plus any mounding on the top of the bed, what sorts of perennials do folks suggest that could thrive with those restrictions?

Thanks for all advice.
 
Nick Kitchener
Posts: 464
Location: Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
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Totally.

I was looking at a 5 acre ex-parking lot for the same thing.

Because of the concrete, you get a much warmer micro climate, and you can capture 100% of the rainfall and store it in the hugelbeds.
 
gani et se
Posts: 215
Location: Douglas County OR
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I would probably place the hugel/raised beds over any cracks in the cement where I could, and seed dandelions in cracks elsewhere. I would do this because where I am there is no way to capture all the rain for the whole winter, and if you are eventually going to remove the cement (or turn it into urbanite) you may as well let weeds help crack it. I'd vote for turning the cement into urbanite and stacking it for walls and bed edges if that were feasible.
Gani
 
William James
gardener
Posts: 1009
Location: Northern Italy
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I think there are other weeds helpful in breaking concrete in addition to dandelions. I just can't think of them. Rumex? Comfrey? Portulengo?

-W
 
Keith Odell
Posts: 59
Location: Indiana
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The link is a powerpoint that shows how to grow in kiddie pools, coke cans and shallow hugelbeds.


http://www.echonet.org/content/urbanGardening
 
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