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Plant list with locations on hugel

 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 446
Location: North-Central Idaho
23
books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
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Hey all I'm trying to get a list together of plant species and best places to plant them in your hugel beds ( i.e. top of bed, middle, base, etc.). I've found bits and pieces of this info scattered here and there in the forums, but thought it might be nice to have it all in one spot.

So far I've got:
Rasberies-top/middle
Squash-base
Rubarb-base
Onions-middle,base

Any more info or insight any of you all feel like contributing would be greatly appreciated.
 
mike mclellan
Posts: 93
Location: Helena, MT zone 4
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Dave,
I'm no expert but I live a similar climate zone (west central Montana) so maybe this will help. I tried Saskatoon berry (Amelachier canadensis) and planted most about halfway up the slope. Total height of the beds originally was about 4 ft (1.3 m). They did reasonably well the first year and clearly have rooted well after two seasons and are developing nicely.

I Agree with raspberries about mid to bottom of the slope. Same for the primocane blackberries I tried.

Asparagus was reasonably successful all the way to near the top of the pile although mine were not sharp peaks. Most have developed enough that I expect to cut some of them once next year (year three).

I seeded summer squash and zucchini middle and near the top and several of the plants did well.

Stawberries originally went from near the top to near the bottom of the three beds I tried them. I just let them run for now to find out where they want most to grow.

Tomatoes went about mid slope. Decent production on medium sized plants.

I planted green beans all over the slopes and they didn't seem to care where they were placed. Most grew about the same height and productivity without regard to placement.
Peas I planted on the north side of a couple beds and they did well.
Swiss chard and lettuce were haphazardly seeded. Chard did well middle to lower slope. Lettuce was fine wherever it went.

I absolutely would recommend, especially if the soil you used is poorly developed like the soil I used, to seed clovers of your liking along the tops of your mounds to build soil and add nitrogen throughout. I seeded crimson clover on top of one and it filled in well by the end of the summer. Had more sweetclover than I could've imagined this past year and it made great chop and drop "fodder" for mulch. Have had a bit of black medic (Medicago lupulina) show up and as it is a N-fixer as well have let it go wherever it pleases. I just hacked it back a bit if I want to plant something there. I interplanted some crimson clover near some of the desired annual vegetables as it doesn't seem quite as rembunctious as the sweet clover (sweet clover really did grow tall and tillered a lot to take up more space than I wanted to grant it.

I hope this helps. Happy hugeladventures!
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 446
Location: North-Central Idaho
23
books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
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Thanks for the reply, good info I appreciate it. So does anyone have any pointers on herbs like dill, parsley, celantro? What about pumpkins and corn? I thought I read somewhere that raspberries preferred not to have wet feet and should be planted more towards the to of the mound.
 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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Good evening,

Here I am using Émilia Hazelip methods and all the herbs did well on top. Didin't try them other places except for my melissa officinalis that grow from seed on the middle beside a strawberry plant. My summer squash did well top and bottom. I had problems with my pumpkins on the garden. Strangely they grow very well on a slope that I have near the garden not a good ground...more rocks and sand...I sow this by hand trowing in the spring . I had a lot of seeds so I trew them all over the place. Finaly dill, pumkins and turnip did well on that slope too...The calendula was trown by hand in spring and the plants that germinated seems to have appreciated the middle part.My asparagus are on the middle top and do well but next year I will have to seperate the plant. I think I will do a patch only for the asparagus.

My garlic was on top. Did was confident enough to plant them on the side. Oignons and leeks were on the middle side with no problem. They were small, but I think it is more because of the ground than because of the placement. I never thought of planting the tomatoes on the side....I will give it a try.

My strawberries are on the middle side and look happy. But the runners seems to head for the bottom side or the upper side....So maybe there is not really a pattern here.

I will go for a higher density of planting next year. I found that I was a lot of lost places in the garden..a lot of non used area. But since we had problems with the germinations, we will see next year.

Isabelle
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 446
Location: North-Central Idaho
23
books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
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Great insight so far! Thanks guys this is good stuff. Once I get a little more info I'll start putting together an easy to read list/planting guide for everyone to use. S0......I guess a little more background on my setup could be useful here....hugel beds are about four and half feet high, zone 6a-ish, 4100 ft elev, 89 frost free days. I am wanting to get a nice combination of perennials, and annuals(hopefully self seeding back yearly). I don't have a lot of room or resources (read cash) so I want to maximize harvest and minimize seed loss. I am hoping to tap into some more of the combined knowledge of folks here so as to plant my seeds in the best possible locations to get the most crop while utilizing the least amount of seed. I also was looking to bring all of this information together into a nice user friendly list for others to be able to look at and plan their planting around.
 
josh brill
Posts: 86
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We have a market garden where we use small hugelbeets. 4ft wide 2 ft tall. With this size it doesn't seem to matter at all where something is planted. Any of the longer season crops like tomatoes spread their roots down the sides and through the middle of the beds. When we pulled our cucumber a few weeks ago i was finding roots 3.5 ft long that had broken off before I got to the end of them. Tap root crops seem to do well everywhere as long as you have enough soil at the top of the hugels.

The tops do dry out fast without mulch or a layer of compost. So things with shallower roots might need a bit more watering. We find that scallions grow longer roots on the peeks of the mound then on the bottom in response to the dryness.
 
Sean Banks
Posts: 153
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Trees and shrubs do best with hugelkultur....their long fibrous roots can reach deep down and suck up nutrients from the rotting wood. Annuals will destroy a hugel-bed because the constant tearing out at the end of a season will cause it to erode.

So example hugel beds:
Apple trees> lowbush Blueberry>strawberry
Asian Pear>bush cherry>mint
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 446
Location: North-Central Idaho
23
books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
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Good point on the annuals. I usually just cut everything off at ground level and leave the root system in the ground to rot/add organic matter. I think this may be what Hazelip does in her gardens, seems to work ok for her. I suppose if something wanted to comeback the next season from the roots that would be all right.

With tree placement shouldn't they be planted more or less at the base or a foot or so away to keep them from having problems as the bed settles or air pockets open up inside the wood pile? They could then send out roots to the hugel to soak up that moisture. Is my thinking on this off or does that sound about right?
 
Patrick Winters
Posts: 93
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I'm pretty sure Toby Hemenway suggested planting the companion plants like the Umbellifers up on the central "ridge" of the hugel mound, because they don't require any maintenance and provide nothing that needs harvesting, so they might as well be put farthest from your reach. This also works because it means that by virtue of being in the center/top, they can be the companion of the plants on BOTH slopes of the hugel mound!
 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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I like the idea Patrick...that makes sens...

Isabelle
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 446
Location: North-Central Idaho
23
books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
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Summary thus far:

Asparagus: top/middle
Calendula: middle
Garlic: top
Green Beans: top/mid/base
Lettuce: top/mid/base
Onions: mid/base
Peas: North/East Side top/mid/base
Potatoes: top/mid/base (harvest only near surface to minimize hugel disturbance)
Raspberries: mid/top
Rhubarb: base
Strawberries: top/mid/base
Swiss Chard: mid/base
Summer Squash: mid/base
Trees: near base (not in hugel bed)
Tomatoes: mid
Winter Squash: base/mid

Other considerations:
plant N-Fixers and companion plantings on ridge
care should be taken not to damage bed while harvesting/pulling annuals at end of season
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 446
Location: North-Central Idaho
23
books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
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Anybody have any recommendations/experience with carrots, blueberries, beets, spinach, choke cherries, cabbages, or chili peppers?
 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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My carrotts were on top in 3 rows and in between 1 row of beets and 1 row of turnips...Only the turnips did well. I don't know if it is because of the weather or the straw...will see next year.

My peppers did pretty well on top in no special order....

My cabbages did really well. I planted them on top but a bit everywhere. No slugs problems. The 2 that had pests problems where the 2 planted 1 beside each other...

I sewed coriander, basil, salad, and other greens in all the empty spaces...no special order top and sides.

Isabelle
 
James Colbert
Posts: 265
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Sean Banks wrote:Trees and shrubs do best with hugelkultur....their long fibrous roots can reach deep down and suck up nutrients from the rotting wood. Annuals will destroy a hugel-bed because the constant tearing out at the end of a season will cause it to erode.

So example hugel beds:
Apple trees> lowbush Blueberry>strawberry
Asian Pear>bush cherry>mint


I personally have not found this to be the case. Hugels are ideal for growing annuals especially in a polyculture. Very rarely would I suggest growing a fruit tree on top of a hugel of any significant size (over 3 feet).
 
Isabelle Gendron
Posts: 173
Location: Montmagny, Québec, Canada (zone 4b)
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I think sepp holzer was just starting the fruits tees in the row between 2 beds so the young cuts would be protected against the wind. After 2-3 years he was changing replanting them or sell them...can't recall where I saw this though...That is what I did in my garden. I planted pimbina's cuttings. They are entering their second winter. next years I will transplant. This year I did the samething with black cxurrants cuttings and rasberries cuttings. We will see the result next year.

Isabelle
 
James Colbert
Posts: 265
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Correct, trees seem to grow better between beds where they can benefit from increased moisture and protection from the wind. That being said deep rooted fruit trees like cherries can be planted on the top of high beds (very large raised beds (9 feet+) that are terraced) as an edible windbreak. Sot fruits like blueberries or raspberries are recommended to be planted at a 45 degree angle of hugelkultur beds and terraces.
 
Bethany Dutch
Posts: 160
Location: Colville, WA Zone 5b
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bump! I was looking for this thread, finally found it via Google, oddly enough. Can we sticky it?
 
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