I think part of it can also be the aspect. I live on a northern facing slope, and face my hugels to the south. The south facing side really heats up faster because of the direct sunlight. Being higher off the ground also means they can heat up faster, just like a pot can.
Nicole Alderman wrote:I think part of it can also be the aspect. I live on a northern facing slope, and face my hugels to the south. The south facing side really heats up faster because of the direct sunlight.
Using this logic, wouldn't it make sense to lay your mounds out from south to north so that the whole bed gets the southern sun instead of just one side? Unless you are working on contour and you HAD to face one side of the mound to the south. I am VERY new to using hugelkultur and I built a very small bed in the fall. It has been covered with snow for about more than 3 months solid and I'm excited to experiment with my planting in it this year. When I laid mine out, I didn't give much thought to the aspect because I was limited on where I could set it, so the mound runs north and south and will most likely get full sun for about 8 or more hours a day in summer.
Lucas, you need to keep in mind angle of incidence. When the hugelbeet runs east west, and one slope faces south, that face gets hit by the sun very directly. When you run the bed north south, the sun may be hitting both faces, but both faces are angled away from the incoming light and will absorb less energy than the south facing slope takes in.
Mine's slightly off contour so it faces mildly to the west and the back side of it gets morning sun. It's very rainy here, so I didn't want water pooling up, but I wanted to get some full/direct sun on my very shady northern sloped property. It seems to work well, as the snow/frost melt off very quickly there. I just plant taller plants, strawberries, and other shade-tolerant plants on the backside.
By the way, I'm also quite new to permaculture, so I am in no way an expert!