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Unexpected Hugelkultur Gift

 
Harry Holden
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Greetings from the new kid on the block. Also a bit of a noob when it comes to gardening.
Finally been able to do a few things with my new two acre homestead.
One of the things the old tenants left me with is a large clean up of the property.
Toward the back of the property is a large pit, about 20 feet wide and two feet deep.
The pit is filled with old pine logs and branches to about one foot above ground level.
Instant hugelkultur, no?
I was going to have the pit cleaned out, but now I think that I'll just have some fill hauled in and cover it.
Maybe first add some more branches.
What do you think? Is this a good beginning?
Harry...
 
John Elliott
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Welcome to Permies, Harry! I think you're already thinking like one of us.
 
Jamie Wallace
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Location: Lantzville, Vancouver Island,BC Cool temperate, Lat. 49.245 Zone 8a
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Hi Harry

The old saying "The problem is the solution..." seems to fit your situation.
This is a wonderful forum and resource, welcome.
 
Harry Holden
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Thank you Gentlemen for the kind welcome.
I'm really getting excited about this.
I called a company that can bring in a dump truck of fill.
They asked if I wanted sand, clay, or topsoil.
I'm thinking sand which is pretty much the soil I have here in South Carolina. That is at $210. a 20 ton load.
Topsoil would be $370. a load.
Would greatly appreciate any thoughts on this.
Thank you.
Harry...
 
Kris schulenburg
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Location: Henry County Ky Zone 6
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definitely the top soil, you will probably grow more than the difference in price this year. Sounds like a great start!
 
John Polk
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definitely the top soil, you will probably grow more than the difference in price this year.

I agree. Top soil will be much closer to what you want to end up with.
Sand is relatively 'inert', containing practically no nutrients or soil food web life.
It would take much longer for a sandy pile to become rich, tilthy soil.
A good top soil will already contain many of the building blocks that true soil needs for development.
 
Harry Holden
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Thank you all for your advice.
Topsoil it is.
I can probably split the load with half going to the hugelkultur and half to another area that also has a planned garden.
Ten ton of topsoil should cover the hugulkultur nicely.
Harry...
 
John Elliott
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Where in SC? If you are anywhere close to Aiken, there is a place in Beech Island that sells good river bottom soil. PM me for more details.
 
Harry Holden
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Thanks John.
PM sent.
Harry...
 
Michael Vormwald
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Location: Central New York - Finger Lakes - Zone 5
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I'm not 100% but I believe I heard Paul say in one or more video's that conifers are not very good in hugelkulture beds so you might want to explore this further before investing in topsoil and building the beds.
 
Jamie Wallace
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Location: Lantzville, Vancouver Island,BC Cool temperate, Lat. 49.245 Zone 8a
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I'm not 100% but I believe I heard Paul say in one or more video's that conifers are not very good in hugelkulture beds so you might want to explore this further before investing in topsoil and building the beds.


Your right Michael...conifers typically contain compounds which resist rot. Where I live the western red cedar is a good example. If the logs/wood is already starting to decay then things should be fine.
 
Topher Belknap
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Location: Midcoast Maine (zone 5b)
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Jamie Wallace wrote:[quote
conifers typically contain compounds which resist rot. Where I live the western red cedar is a good example. If the logs/wood is already starting to decay then things should be fine.


Depends on the conifer, and the deciduous. Around here Eastern White Pine decays very fast. Oaks not so much. black locust not at all.
 
Jamie Wallace
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Location: Lantzville, Vancouver Island,BC Cool temperate, Lat. 49.245 Zone 8a
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Topher Belknap wrote:
Depends on the conifer, and the deciduous. Around here Eastern White Pine decays very fast. Oaks not so much. Black locust not at all.

Great points Topher...funny how statements regarding most living systems are not obsolete...
That surprises me about Black locus, I assumed the nitrogen rick material would have an easier time breaking down.
 
Harry Holden
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Most of my trees and what is in the pit is longleaf pine. Also a bit of sassafras.
Reading past posts, berries such as blueberry and elderberry seem to like the acidic environment.
I seem to have many beauty berry (small blueberry) bushes growing wild around the property.
Cheers..
 
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