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Using Cedar Rails for Hugelkultur Mounds: Question for Toby

 
Travis Philp
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I've brought this up before in the hugelkultur thread but since Toby is here I thought I'd single this question out in its own thread. If I'm being inappropriate I apologize.

Toby: In Gaia's Garden you mention burying cedar logs (or was it rails?) and planting blueberries over them...

Do you know if there are any acid-loving vegetables can be planted in a similar manner? Ones that can grow well despite the inhibitor chemicals released by the cedar? My mother was telling me that cedar leaves are a good mulch for tomatoes so I'm thinking that the rails could also be used.

I have hundreds of extremely old and weathered cedar rails that are too far gone for most other uses. (eg. fencing)
 
Toby Hemenway
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I don't mention cedar; I just talk about logs, brush, and dead wood with no species name (I checked!). I would not normally recommend cedar logs as a good choice for hugelkultur, but if they are already pretty rotten, they may not have much of the fungi-inhibiting compounds left. Now, whether cedar will actually inhibit the growth of plants, as opposed to many soil organisms, I don't know. You could try something small scale first.

I'm intrigued that cedar leaves are a good mulch for tomatoes. I wonder if they inhibit verticilium wilt and other fungal problems that tomatoes are prone to. That's worth checking out!
 
Travis Philp
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Thanks for the insight. It's been awhile since I've had access to your book and I my memory is aparently not as great as I thought. Anyhow...

I'm going to trial the cedar rail hugel mound concept and post findings at the end of the season, so here's hoping...
 
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