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Willow Stakes in Hugelbeds

 
Burt Harrison
Posts: 20
Location: Shorpshire, UK
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This may seem like an odd question... but...

Let me start at the beginning, I am in the process of building 30 odd metres of Hugelbeds. I have the beds mapped out and prepared ready for the wood to go into place and I have loads of wood ready and waiting. I have taken some ideas from various YouTube clips, one is to use stakes to hold branches and sticks against the sides of the finished beds to hold mulch etc in place, also when the beds are finished these stakes can be used as 'leaning' posts to support your wait while you plant, harvest or just tend to the parts of the bed that are just a little out of reach without the need to put a great big foot dent on the bank of the bed itself. To me it seems sensible to hammer these stakes in place during the construction of the bed, that way you don't run the risk of trying to hammer a stake through the tree trunk that is at the base of the bed, also by putting the stakes in place at the beginning of the construction they will also hold everything in place while the beds are being built.

Now we have an abundance of willow on the farm, green willow, and it is really the only wood that we have to make the number of stakes needed, out of, (I have plenty of other wood for the beds, a mixture of seasoned, rotting and green wood, none of which is willow). Willow being willow and also being green wood will grow, or will it? Is there any way that I can stop it from growing? The majority of the stakes have been cut so that the thin end (the growing end) is in the ground and the thicker (the root end) is in the air, does this make any difference? Before I start the major part of the construction I really need to know if we are going to end up with a row of willow trees growing out of the sides of our hugelbeds or not? If it helps I have attached a couple pictures of the beds as they are.

Any ideas or help would be much appreciated
Thanks in advance Burt

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Hugelbeds
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Individual Bed
 
Renate Howard
pollinator
Posts: 755
Location: zone 6b
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If I'm picturing it right, the bed will wind up coming at least halfway up those willow stakes, or maybe to the top, right? So the moist soil and compost will be touching parts that still have bark on them? I think they may root and try to grow. I'd strip off all the bark. If you get a draw knife it shouldn't be too hard. Livestock would eat the bark you stripped off.
 
Burt Harrison
Posts: 20
Location: Shorpshire, UK
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That's right, we have piled the large pieces of wood in between the stakes today, the idea is/was that the beds would come part way up the stakes, which would then be cut off at about 10 cms above the level of the bed. Although we've already piled the wood in between I can still get in there and strip the bark. After we've added the wood chips and other assorted goodies it might not be so easy.

Thanks for the reply Renate, I figured that removing the bark would be a good move, unfortunately (or fortunately) people started carting wood up to the beds before I had chance to do it... and who am I to stop people carting all the logs and stumps up the garden to the Hugelbeds (instead of me)

I'll get out there in the morning with my knife and get the bark off.
 
Galadriel Freden
Posts: 345
Location: West Yorkshire, UK
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I know willow's pretty determined, but charring them should do it too.
 
Burt Harrison
Posts: 20
Location: Shorpshire, UK
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That's true Galadriel, I hadn't thought of that option, thanks
 
I agree. Here's the link: https://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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