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Using clumps of dug up sod to replace compost in hugelkultur?

 
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Hello all!

I am building a hugelkultur bed in Minnesota in a student garden. We're using it as a demonstration for our community, so I want to make sure it is a good example!

We have access to plenty of wood and plant material but not to compost. We had a new garden area tilled this spring and have weeded out 4 wheelbarrow loads of large chunks of sod that are about 1/2 soil and 1/2 plant material. Our soil has 9% soil organic matter.

Can we use the sod to fill in around the logs instead of using compost? If yes, I'm assuming adding a bucket or two of compost would still be a good idea to jumpstart the microbial community in the bed?

Thanks for your advice!
 
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Howdy Heidi , welcome to permies!

Yes you can use what you have.

Then what are your plans for planting it?

Have you read some of the other posts here about what permies are doing with their Hugels? Lots of great ideas here.
 
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Location: north end of the Keweenaw Mi.
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Hi Heidi

I am not sure what area your in
our son and daughter in law live up around Virginia Mn.
they might be able to find you some compost

Mike
 
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Location: NW lower Michigan
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Any plant material will be compost soon.
Can you get a hold of some poop to throw in there with the sod, etc?

Hugels are pretty much slow burning compost piles, so don't over think it. Pee on the sod for a week before you cover it if you don't have a manure source.

You do have dirt to go on top of the pile, right?
 
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Just make sure your sod is free of Quack Grass. I used a little uncomposted sod in my hugel bed, and quackgrass keeps coming up from a few rhizomes in the sod. i pick as much as I can, roots and all, and still it comes back. If in doubt, put a black material like plastic over the sod and in the sun to bake all the roots. Enjoy your garden!
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