Is anyone familiar/using this technique?
We're going to use her techniques with on contour hugel swales instead. Idea is to coat the base of the trench (to insert the wood core) with charcoal to act as the opposite of a filter and keep nutrients in , then layer our brush n' logs (here we want to kill off bacteria in the wood with alcohol giving our mycohorizal inoculate a headstart) fill in the voids with our soil, flip the sod we peeled off upside down ontop the mound, cover with compost, cover crop it with winter rye n vetch to hold the top layer in place with root structure while fixing nitrogen and before it goes to seed hack it down as our straw cover for the beds.
Any Ideas? I mean she's bringing in straw, so i was thinking why not grow the straw on the bed before planting season, it'd hold everything together, and add organic matter not just ontop but underneath with dying roots.
In my experience with five hugelbeets of fairly considerable size ( around 10-12 meters long and about a meter and change tall) I've not had any concerns about bacteria slowing the log decompostiion. I had a mushroom "forest" on some of my beds this spring and summer (only the second year of being planted to perennials, annual pollinator flowers, comfrey and a whole host of other species). Didn't seem to affect the fertility of the soil on the beds at all that I did no "pretreatment" with alcolhol to reduce bacteria. I would be concerned that alcohol treatment might kill off many fungal spores already present on your woody material. This could slow the start of decompostion, the very act that will add to fertility and water holding over timel. The bacteria, too, are decomposers and take on the smaller particles with less lignin than the fungi so, at least in my mind, the bacteria help kickstart the system. Interestingly (to me anyway!) I had a lot of sweetclover on all the beds that seemed to appear this year. They made for excellent chop and drop mulch and all the plants could only have benefited from the additional nitrogen which was fixed by the bacteria attached to them.
Your idea of including what sounds to be a fairly continuous layer of charcoal is excellent. I've had great success in beds where I could incorporate charcoal even in small amounts. Good luck and enjoy.
You're welcome. I could see your reasoning for using alcohol if you are inoculating specific mushroom species for medicinal/edible purposes. Haven't done that. The wood I used was mostly dead far too long to bother. My understanding is one must use freshly cut green wood for mushroom inoculation. All of the thousands of mushrooms this past spring/summer were already present in the soil or wood, I did no deliberate inoculating of the wood before covering it with soil (about 6-8 inches). The beds are not on contour per se but my land is absolutely flat (we're in the Missouri River Valley). I oriented them north/south to be perpendicular to our strongest winds out of the west, and to allow for equal sunlight on both sides. Yes, I did plant among the sweet clovers, occasionally pulled a plant out to create more room. I pulled the weedy Cardaria aka whitetop where I needed to create a bit of space. It's fairly aggressive spreading underground but does a decent job covering soil and the bees like the flowers. Yes, this weed has its place.
I originally, and naively, planted a whole variety of perennial, woody plants, asparagus, strawberries (Fort Laramie, TriStar, and Seascape) horseradish and mulched with about an inch or so of wood chips. Woody perennial success was hit and miss: two of four bush cherries survived but still aren't growing vigorously after two seasons. Asparagus did very well, and I think I'll be able to take a light cutting next spring. Horseradish was a failure. Prime Jim blackberries did OK but lost about 60% of them in year one. A couple this year were trying to make up for that fact and grew like mad and produced many berries, most of which didn't quite make it past the early frosts. Planted Polana raspberries and had 40% survival (4/10). . One of the survivors is trying to make up for its weak cousins and is expanding well with probably a dozen or more canes. The other three seem to have rooted better but not nearly as vigorous growers as the "big one". Planted red mammoth raspberries from Gurneys' and again had 40% survival. This year those went crazy and they will take over the area I had planned for them next season with all the runners and new, robust canes
Haskaps ( Tundra and Borealis varieties) all survived, but didn't grow well last year. This year's growth was excellent (about 12 inches (30cm) of leader growth on most. They appear to be filling in nicely. Aronia has been 2 for 2 and grew moderately well this year. I planted a variety of Ribes varieties, both gooseberry and currant. They've done well and the white currants and the Hinomaki's had decent harvestable berries in year two. I planted two varieties of Amelanchier juneberry and they were tiny going in and didn't do a whole lot. Had about 85% survival coming into this year. Most did much better this season and will be decent sized shrubs in a couple more years. I let all strawberries run this year just to take up space and crowd the whitetop. The Seascapes ran the most, Tristars are almost non existent and the Fort Laramies were only fair.
This year I seeded a pollinator mix from Johnny's of Maine, old corn seeds (weak!), all the green beans I could lay my hands on, peas, chard ( a real success) and a variety of sunflowers ( smaller sized than the giants like mammoth grey stripe). We planted tomato plants, zucchini and crookneck summer squash. The tomatoes didn't get real big compared those I had in raised beds (not woody core- just "standard" raised beds). The tomatoes did produce a lot of fruit, however so no complaints on my part. I planted a single pear tree on the south end of one of the beds and it has survived but isn't growing vigorously like its cousins growing in soil. Had two Maximillian sunflowers with no place to put them so I stuck them on the south end of another bed and they really took off this year. Looked like small clumps of trees (about two meters high).
All of the beds were shaped like a numeral 7 with the horizontal arm of the bed on the north end of the beds. Each arm runs east-west. It did provide some microclimates with the mini north facing slopes . I hope to take more advantage next year and plant some Good King Henry on the north sides along with various odds and ends. I plan to seed it more heavily next year and let the sweet clover run again. It made great chop/drop fodder. That's about all I can come up with for now. I hope this helps. Believe sepp holzer when he says plant new hugelbeets immediately. Seed the hell out of them. The plants really do sort it out. Keep the new bed weeded and water it heavily during construction and as soon as you seed it. They may eventually hold a lot of water but they can't much in the first couple of years. Don't build more beds than you can manage in the first year. I built too many to manage last year and was still playing catchup this year. Ah, ain't life grand? Best of luck to you in your hugeladventures.
seemed that just digging out the paths to make mounds and mulching that
would take decades to get really fertile.
After laying out my bed dimensions I dug down and set the clay aside then filled
the hole with yard residue. Leaves, sticks, logs etc. until that was about 3 feet out
of the ground. Then I began to mix manure, compost, etc. into the clay as best I could
and piled that on top of the beds. I covered all that with a thick layer of manure and
mulched it in heavily with wheat straw.
The dimensions "4'wide, 10-30" high and 20" for the paths".
course for a couple months. The beds shrunk down as things
broke down and I continue leave most crop residue in the beds and add
leaves on beds in the winter. I use pine straw in the paths and where
I am planting tomatoes. It continues to get better as time goes along.
during the winter and early spring. Not enough be bothersome but there
are some seeds in the straw that do tend to germinate. I don't want a bunch
wheat roots in my beds in the Spring because I am going to be pulling the
mulch back and planting seeds of various crops like lettuce, carrots, corn,
I think everything likes pine straw but I personally just use it with acid loving
plants for the most part. Once it breaks down it is not acidic as I understand.
I like the look of pine straw paths and wheat straw beds.
I have perennial herbs rosemary, thyme. I also have day lilies and coneflowers.
I keep chives and bunching onions and garlic going. Horse Radish, mint,etc.
Re-seeding plants that are pretty consistent are Malabar spinach, stevia, parsley, marigolds
Cilantro and tomatoes. Particularly good are Matt's Wild and other small varieties.
Pretty much anything you want to grow and that will grow in your area can be grown in
this type setup.
years were drought years and it would have been good to have had a soaker
hose or something set up. With larger beds containing more wood than I used
it might not be necessary.
Hazelip had kind of a chaotic looking garden and when my plants are mature
they grow together and get jumbled looking.
Here I used Émilia's technique for the first time this year. I prepared part of the beds last fall planting branches of Pimbinas on the side of the beds like sepp holzer did. I wanted to see if it would work. They are still aliive and foing for winter number 2. Replanting next summer. I did 4 beds cover with straw (a looot of seeds but I was prepare for this). I put perennial herbs each ends of the beds. Starwberries (that I started in seeds) were planted on the side up of each bed at a good distance apart. I had a not so good year but here it rained a lot in spring and even the big agricultors had problems with their crops....I did the weeding slinding my hand under the straw and pullinf them then living them on the straw until they dry then under the straw...I didn't water at all during the summer and had no problems because of that. Had a couple of wild mushrooms probably because of decompostitions....I will continue next year since I wish to see this nice ground building from that method. My actual ground is a bit of clay, so a bit more compact that it should. I didn't till the garden but after the crop I took my fork (the big one) and just put it in the ground and coming back up just by pushing the fork down so the theeth would comme up...hummm not sure if it clear enough My fall experiences of the year is cutting black currents branches and put them in the ground on the down side of a bed like I did with the pimbinas...hope they will root. Did the same thing with rasberries.
Here's a couple of pictures from a part of the swalles, the PImbinas that I planted last fall and the new part that I prepared for next summer. OUps no pix now...Have to figure out how this site is working...
Alex, I think that I will have to use the fork strategy again next year, but I'm confident that it will be the last year...On your last picture, what is the big plant in the front? I see that you also have echinacea...I do too. 2 varieties...I also planted digitalis and lavender. Since I'm doing a course on herborisme I want to plant several medicinal herbs...
John: The pimbinas is growing naturaly here, same for the amelanchier and sour cherries. I also have a lot of sorbus domestica...wich can't be eaten. We are doing a jelly with the pimbina. My in laws just loooe this. Me I hate de smell of it...smells like...little feet But I have read that if you put lemon juice in the jelly it is not smelling...Also, before the first frost the berries are bitter and after frezzinf they are sweeter but conatin less pectine so you have to add some. I will try to do the jelly but without pectine (it has frzen here)...we will see.
I just used the ground to do the beds. At one end of the garden it is long in spring before it dry. When I did my beds last rping the ground was full of water and relly heavy it was terrible. The only thing I add was a hand full of compost before I planted my tomatoes. I left everything on the bed in fall but I burried them under the straw.
I also did a patch of potatoes under cartboard and straw. I got potatoes but not a lot. the red ones did better than the white ones. I had put de cardbord on the grass, did a hole, put a handfull of compost (since the ground was kind of muddy). When I harvested, the ground was still muddy (like clay) and hard. The potatoes were muddy and I had snails. In tha garden I have hostas and hemerocalys that I planted there until the renovations ends but finally left everything there. I notice that both had snails but the snails left everything alone maybe it is a trail to explore...I planted cabbages a bit everywhere, here and there. I had a nice harvest for the first time of my life of cabbages. The only two that had problems were the 2 that were one beside each other...another trail to explore. But my green beans...a mess. I sewed twice than last year but harvested only 1 pound...a disaster. the weather? The straw? We will see next year,.
As for the black currents I don't know..I'm doing a test. But I really can't see why it wouldn't work. I'm pretty sure it will do the same as the pimbinas. Bit more worried about my strawberries cuttings....we will see. If it work I will be glad.
This is the beds before I dig the trenches.
This when I dog them...it was hard I'm telling you. My hunsband git pitty for my work and at the end (only the end) came and help me enlarge the trenches...so nice of him ;P
[img=http://imageshack.us/scaled/thumb/46/vjms.jpg]" border="0" class="postimg">
And here's after the digging...
Uploaded with ImageShack.us
burgandy and the leaves are different in shape and color. Before the summer was over those things
had to be harvested by bending them down so I could reach the okra. I estimate they were 12' high.
You followed Emelia Hazelip's bed design better than me but appears your soil is pretty good. In the video
she or the person narrating broke out a ruler to show the bed dimensions and I am afraid you would be
in trouble on your path width which appears to be narrower than 20".
You see in the picture my pole beans required a ladder at times. I plant rosemary around my beans because I heard it is supposed
to help with Mexican Bean Beetles and I am in my third year of doing it. Good beans and no beetles so I am
not changing. I have a job keeping the rosemary down to manageable size. If a rabbit sneaks in I know where to
look for it. Under the rosemary.
I just remember the emphasis placed on the bed dimensions in the
Video with the black board and ruler and repetition. She apparently
placed high value on being able to get in and out to plant and harvest.
Okra is a heat loving plant and I am not sure what it would do for you
While I have tried to shape my beds like Emilia Hazelip and have used
some of her planting and crop rotation ideas I also like ruth stout's method
and her mental approach. Both of them are fun to emulate in the garden.
I think we are going to have success.
Going to look for infos on ruth stout.
Isabelle Gendron wrote:Émilai gave crop rotations's ideas? In the vidéo? I watch the video several times and didn't notice that. I will watch it again.
Going to look for infos on Ruth Stout.
Isabelle I found that info in a document:
"The Synergistic Garden" by Emilia Hazelip
She lays out 3years of planting and various ideas. It was translated from the French and I found it
somewhat choppy and I wasn't sure exactly what she meant in some spots. Maybe you could find
it in French and then you could clear some things up for me.
Isabelle Gendron wrote:Yes I saw that video but can't recall at all that she was talking about crop rotation...
I will go check it out again.
I am referring to a "written document" that she did. Just google it and you
will find it. I would call it a pamphlet but it is more detailed than that.
raised bed 1
YEAR 1, April - Sow root vegetables in lines, planted 25-30 centimeters apart, of carrots and/or beets,
as well as turnips on the flat top of the raised bed. When sowing small seeds, push back the mulch in
the line to be sown, and without 'working the soil', simply make an indentation the same length as the
line, put your seeds in as you normally do and sprinkle some soil on top. Then put some pressure on the
soil so that it adheres to the seed. If the seeds are small do not replace the mulch, but do keep the area
moist. This crop can be combined with any type of sweet garden pea, which can be sown either in
pockets or across the narrow bed every 2-3 meters.
On the sides of the raised bed plant in a zig-zag pattern; try onion sets or seedlings interspersed with
any type of lettuce or salad chicory. Keep the sides permanently planted with cut and come again
salads, planting new seedlings next to the plants that are going to seed. When the onions are harvested,
use the same zone for new onion varieties, or for garlic or leeks.
Over a period of time you should try to plant 'salads' where the onions were, and put the liliaceous
varieties where the salads were. The sides of all raised beds should be treated similarly except where
you want to grow perennial chives or other perennial or self-seeding members of the same family.
Be sure to sow flowers too in all your beds: calendula (predominantly the orange variety), as well as all
types of French marigolds and nasturtiums, paying attention to their growth pattern. Each bed should
have at least one of each of these plants as beneficial companions to the crops. Plant them on the flat
top of the raised bed, but don't let them take up too much space.
YEAR 1, July - As you harvest the root crop, sow mustard greens in the same spaces. As the sweet
garden peas are cut and left as mulch, sow pockets of beans at random.
YEAR 1, September - October - Sow winter varieties of spinach as the mustard greens are harvested.
YEAR 1, November - Sow broad beans or sweet garden peas among the spinach. YEAR 2 , March - April - Plant lines of Swiss chard plants among the broad beans. Sow legumes now
if you didn't plant them last autumn (or if they didn't survive the winter).
YEAR 2, June - August - Before harvesting the legumes, sow beans between the Swiss chard; continue
putting in beans throughout the summer.
YEAR 2, November - Sow broad beans or sweet garden peas (different varieties than last year), parallel
with the lines of chard.
YEAR 3 , March - April - Continue harvesting the Swiss chard until it begins to go to flower. As soon
as this happens cut most of the plants back as low as possible. Depending on the size of the bed and
how many plants you have, choose at least two, but not more than four, to stake and let go to seed.
(Space doesn't allow for details of selecting which plants to choose for seed production). Planting
parallel to the spent Swiss chard roots, begin a further root vegetable sowing following the Year 1
pattern; when choosing succession plants bear in mind the crop rotation, and try to avoid having two
plants of the same family following each other.
raised bed 2
YEAR 1, March - April - Sow small peas in pockets, at 50-60 centimeters distance.
YEAR 1, May - In the center of: the bed plant tomatoes in two zig-zag lines. In front of the tomatoes
sow basil and coriander.
YEAR 1, June - Sow beans among the tomatoes all through the summer.
YEAR1, November - Sow broad beans in between the dying/dead plants that have been cut and left as
YEAR 2, March - April - Tomato plants like growing on soil where tomatoes have been grown before,
so no rotation strategy is needed - so repeat the Year I pattern although it's worth moving the plants
round so that roots are distributed through all the soil (put the coriander where you had the basil and
YEAR 2Autumn - For winter legumes alternate each year between sweet garden peas and broad beans.
YEAR 3, Spring - Repeat Year 1 or follow the pattern in raised bed 3 if you prefer to integrate a
raised bed 3
YEAR 1, March - April - Sow small peas.
YEAR 1, May - Plant (or sow) two rows of any type of squash in a wide zig-zag line towards the center
of the bed, together with some sweet corn.
YEAR 1, June - Begin sowing your beans.
YEAR 1, August - In the spaces between the squash leaves, plant Chinese cabbage, broccoli or
Brussels sprouts (the squash leaves providing shade to protect the transplanted seedlings).
YEAR 1, November - Sow broad beans or sweet garden peas in between the cabbages.
YEAR 2 Spring - As harvesting progresses (always ensuring that you cut the plants and leave the roots
undisturbed in the soil), you can sow spinach, mustard greens and/or borage and New Zealand spinach.
YEAR 2, Summer - Sow beans among the other plants.
YEAR 2, Autumn - Broad beans or sweet garden peas.
YEAR 3, Spring - Year 1 can be repeated or alternate with raised bed 2 (or another one). WATERING
Install a drip irrigation hose (a simple narrow hose with perforations every 25-30 centimeters works
fine and shouldn't suffer from chalk build-up). 2 hoses per bed is the optimum, placed in parallel about
l0 centimeters from the edges of the flat top of the raised bed.
If you want to set up a system of supports which can be left permanently in place in the garden and
which will not be damaged however strong the wind, try 6 meter long building rods (10 or 12
centimeter gauge) forming an arch across the beds. Attach a strong wire from the apex of each crossed
arch to the next and these will form good supports for winter climbing peas as well as summer beans.
Be sure to use biodegradable string for attaching plants to the supports, so that at the end of the season
you can simply undo the knots from the support and let string and plants mulch together on the bed.
Cucumbers, melons and many squashes can be encouraged to climb in this way, thus freeing up a lot of
space at ground level.
Gardening the self-fertility way produces a rich harvest: the more plants which live and die in the soil
the richer and more fertile it becomes.
Masanobu Fukuoka, The One-Straw Revolution. 1978. Rodale.
The Natural Way of Farming. 1985. Japan Publications
The Road Back to Nature. 1987. Japan Publications.
Ruth Stout. Gardening Without Work. 1961. Devin-Adair.
How to Have a Green Thumb Without an Aching Back. 1968. Exposition Pres
I looked for the document that Alex talked about but the website that it originatly comes from is not in service anymore...I will read this seriously. Now I'm working on my apple trees guild. the trees are planted, I started mulching and I will read this document after...
(53.81°N, 1.55° W )
If you are interested in the bio intensive, we have an agriculteur here in Québec that wrote a book about it with a lot of detail even with the return of each crop that he does. If you read French it is an amazing documents that you can buy as an ebook...
The book is on the first page ¨Le jardinier-maraîcher¨
James Driscoll wrote:This looks similar to the Jeavon's bio intensive method (http://www.growbiointensive.org/index.html). I'd like to have the space to give it a try but, to be honest, I'd like to get as many staples from perennials (I'm still looking a list of perennials that will compete with the likes of potato and maize for calorific content). The crop rotation and replanting every year sounds like work to me
Emilia Hazelip in the document I alluded to above said "I have long since given up
following the lunar/cosmic calendar, there being insufficient evidence of results to
justify the time and complication of applying it."
So she may have had some points of agreement with Jeavons but it is safe to say
she was not of the bio-intensive camp. Ruth Stout and Fukuoka appear to have had the biggest
influence on her. I also tend to think that she was a bit unique.
We are near Birmingham, Alabama and feel that with the large amount of rain we receive these beds work well.