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Rotten timber

 
Mark Chadwick
Posts: 81
Location: Cranbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
chicken forest garden urban
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So, I'm off into the scrub soon to collect fire wood, from fallen trees, with a friend who is reliant on wood heating. I am interested in whether pre-rotted wood can be used in hugel beds to accelerate progress?
Much of the timber could be eucalyptus species, will that act as a retardant to desired plant growth?
I also have access to a lot of dry eucalyptus leaves, useful or not?
 
John Elliott
pollinator
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Pre-rotted wood is the best kind of wood to use in building a hugelkultur because it already has fungi at work liberating nutrients for plant roots to feed on. And you are right to suspect that eucalyptus might be problematic, because a lot of them are allelopathic. However, if they are well along in the rotting stage, most of the allelopathic chemicals should be broken down. As for the leaves, dry does not provide for as much breakdown as wet. If the leaves still have the characteristic eucalyptus odor, wet them down and keep them wet for a couple, three weeks. When a handful of the wet leaves no longer smells like eucalyptus, but smells earthy, like mushrooms, then it is ready to use.
 
Mark Chadwick
Posts: 81
Location: Cranbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
chicken forest garden urban
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Excellent news. I'll be using the logs to build a bed that is intended to divert overland flow in heavy rain events. It'll be across the back of the chicken run.
How about just using the dry leaves as litter in with the birds? At present they are on stable litter, sawdust soaked in urine with the odd pony nugget. Am I safe to assume the attentions of the chickens will break them down?
 
John Elliott
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Mark Chadwick wrote: Am I safe to assume the attentions of the chickens will break them down?


That it will.
 
Mark Chadwick
Posts: 81
Location: Cranbourne, Victoria, AUSTRALIA
chicken forest garden urban
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Thank you John.
 
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