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First attempt at hugelkulture

 
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Ok very interested in all I have read about these systems so am having a go on a small scale.
This is the story so far x
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Notice the supervising sheep!
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The hole
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Logs are In
 
katie ashton
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Just realised you can't see the supervising sheep!!
 
pollinator
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Katie,

Hugels dug by hand and it looks pretty deep --- impressive.

I dug one last year (in clay) and ended up making the bed 1/2 the size I had originally intended.

Sure would like to see some supervising sheep.

A.J.
 
pollinator
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I dug mine as deep, or perhaps deeper (something like 3'), and piled it 3' above grade. The only difference I notice with yours is that I had some larger diameter logs to use.

Good luck! I have had great success with potatoes in my first year, and with some shorter-term crops (kales, lettuces, chards, beets, and radishes) in the early spring before and the fall, with tomatoes the following year.

If you have the option, innoculate the wood with a culinary mushroom species. I get dog mushrooms (don't know what they are, not poisonous, just not edible) after every rain, all around the base of the hugelbeet. I'm guessing they do the trick in terms of symbiosis with plant root systems, but it sure would be nice if they were Chanterelles, Morels, or even Oysters.

-CK
 
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The complication of inoculating a hugel bed is that you're really trying to serve two masters. In order to really get a yield from inoculating mushrooms, you want to have fresh spawn inoculated into new fresh wood. Many people make hugul beds because they have old wood lying around and don't just want to burn it. Sometimes it's hard to hit all the points at the same time. Many types of mushrooms optimally are decomposing fresh wood. Others will decompose extra nutrients in soil. Others decompose dead leaves primarily. I wouldn't want to buy a lot of expensive spawn in order to primarily get rid of old wood. You probably will have some amount of fungi decomposing the wood, but in order for it to be worth the cost of buying spawn, it would only be worth it if you could inoculate freshly cut new wood with the right kind of mushroom for your climate and the buried wood situation. It could still be totally worth making the hugul beds. I inoculate spawn all the time, but I didn't intentionally inoculate my hugulbeds for that reason.
John S
PDX OR
 
katie ashton
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Thanks guys. We have larger logs underneath, then I piled in some clay soil and horse poo and straw, then upturned turf on the smaller branches... Then lasagna style with clay soil, wet straw and horse poo.... All hosed in..... Currently clay is on the surface but I intend to do another few lasagna layers.... I have made a second one but modified.....like a raised bed with straw bales for edging, then smaller wood on the bottoms then the layers..... So hopefully something will work!
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Sheep supervising!!!
 
A.J. Gentry
pollinator
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The sheep are too funny!
 
katie ashton
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They are! The black one is my ram and not that bright..... His brains are not in his head... But he is mostly sweet.... The other is super bright and hilarious. Thinks he is a dog and should be in the house!
 
I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy, because I'm easy come, easy go, little high, little low, little ad
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