hello! im trying to make a small hugulcultur bed. i dug ~50cm and threw some dry wood inside.
the soil i dug is poor i belive. im in south israel 3km from the mediterranean sea.
the bed is between the house and the lawn.
i thougt i could add some: cow-manure, hay, and garden waste to the soil, and it will be fine,
but now i read that manure should be composted before mixing into the soil. because of bacterias and such.
can it be composted inside the ground? should i put the cow-dung only in the deep, and use normal compost( that cost money ) in the upper part of the bed?
i can get the cow manure from a dairy farm, they keep the manure in big sunken platforms so i can get to the "old" part of the shit were it is quite dry.
i need to plant in september.
i built a bed with un-composted horse manure over the wood and under (not enough) dirt. Most thing grew well but the manure shrinks as it composts and hollows out or falls in in places, so it is not ideal but it worked better than just putting our clay soil on top of the wood and i think it will do better next year.
I too used horse manure and bedding straight from the barn to cover a berm of miscellaneous windfalls and prunings from last winter and did not have soil to add . It is 3 feet high but I too think it will rot down quite a bit over a couple of years . I have not finished adding to it so other than commenting that the grass and weeds at the base are growing great and feeding my rabbits , I have not seen how well it will grow on the actual berm.
i would compost the manure first and put the hay and grass clippings on top of the bed as a mulch, if you bury all that stuff it will go anaerobic and sour, it would most likely do more harm than good.
Location: Foothills north of L.A., zone 9ish mediterranean
posted 5 years ago
Lots of things you could do to speed the decomposition before you put it on the hugel.
Turning it for just a few days in a row would help a lot to tip the balance towards aerobic.
Innoculating it with a compost tea, worm tea or lactobacillus tea will move it quickly in the direction of beneficial vs. pathogenic bacteria.
But if you just want to get the hugel done with as little work as possible and plant right away, I wouldn't be too worried. You might have a disease-prone first season, by the second season the worms, fungi & bacteria will have taken care of it, as long as there's enough water.
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