• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Spongy'ness evidence?

 
James Slaughter
Posts: 94
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Does any one have any images of the "spongy" wood created by hugelkultur? How long does it (generally) take for the wood to reach this state? And also perhaps seeing how it behaves when it is dried, how much water it can absorb, etc? I'm just wondering whether part of the effectiveness of hugelkultur has to do with magnifying the water that does fall into channels that creates deeper reservoirs that plants are able to access. Almost like how if you have a less water absorbent ground surface beside one that is more so, and the way that the grass around it tends to stay green for much longer. Perhaps this is just an initial factor, while the wood rots into a more sponge like material. Cheers.
 
Miles Flansburg
steward
Pie
Posts: 3544
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
127
bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Another factor may be the role that fungi play ?
Check out paul stamets

 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4153
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Miles Flansburg :Thank you! You are exactly correct, not only do mycelium ( usually called the Vegetative part of the Fungi) invade, colonize and externally digest
the wood within the entire tree, it uses the energy locked in the cellulose and lignin to create more hyphae in the surrounding soil, in places like 'old growth forests'
where the wood rots in place for generations, the hyphae form vast nets underground holding even more water, and many mycologists claim these mats of fungi
to be the largest and oldest living organisms on the planet ! Hugelbeds are merely tiny versions of what Mother Nature intended all along.

There is a very good short article on Micelium recycling of woody materials at English language Wikipedia '' Wood decay fungus" also a paragraph or two on
Hugelcultur that mentions Sepp Holzerin the Compost article, and sites an article appearing in our sister website richsoil.com

In the Paul Stamets video above he shows a picture of the 'White Rot' Fungi attacking the end grain of a chunk of Fire wood (?) at 1:04 , specifically this is the fungi
that turns dead wood into spongy masses. Big AL
 
Johnny Niamert
Posts: 268
Location: Colo
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
It's often referred to as 'punk wood' or 'punky wood'. Well-rotten, decomposed, 'spongey' wood of fallen trees commonly found about in natural settings.

Image searching google brings up some images that may or may not be what you're looking for.
 
James Slaughter
Posts: 94
1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for reminding me of Paul Stamets and the value of the fungal activity in the soil for creating more absorbent (water and nutrient) structures. What about hydrophobic soil that is often the result of long term drought? I know that many people in Australia during the last major drought had issues with well mulched soil drying out to the point that both the wood chip mulch and the soil itself became hyrdrophobic. Has anyone seen how hugelkultur performs during these types of events?
 
allen lumley
pollinator
Posts: 4153
Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
58
books fungi hugelkultur solar wofati woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
James Slaughter : In parts of Australia like in our own southern most states, wood rots so fast that the surrounding soils are usually very poor in organic matter,
in the higher southern Latitudes like the Island of Tasmania we would expect hugelcultur to do well ! Big AL !
 
mike mclellan
Posts: 93
Location: Helena, MT zone 4
6
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
James, some indirect but very graphic evidence on my one-year old hugelbeets last spring was the incredible (to me anyway) flush of mushrooms. The flush included several different varieties based on the physical appearance of their fruiting bodies. The "outbreak" continued for six weeks in earnest and then slowed to a patch here and there throughout the beds. Interestingly enough, the growth of the plants on the beds was vigorous. I didn't have to water the hugelbeets anywhere near as often as the year of their establishment. That wood has got to be breaking down.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic