Dave Dahlsrud wrote:.... I think the vertical log orientation would really accelerate the wicking action in the hugel mound and speed decomposition) What do you all think?
Nicole Alderman wrote:I know I'm probably not the only one that deals with this. I build up a nice pile of wood, put sod over it, and then attempt to cover with dirt. The dirt all rolls off, piling on the ground around the hugel. This makes for deep soil at the bottom, and very little on the top. To get soil deep enough at the top, the bottom gets so wide I can't reach the plants at the top of the hugel. It's very frustrating!
Anyone have any tricks to keep the dirt on top? I've found putting rocks or logs around the edge helps keep some of the dirt up, but hauling all those rocks is no fun, and wastes uses up some vertical planting space. The logs also do that, as well as wick moisture from the hugel.
I'm currently thinking about putting some logs around the base while I put the dirt on the hugel, and then removing them afterward, and hoping the dirt doesn't all slide off... and that the logs will actually come out!
Anyone have any tricks or techniques to arranging the hugel and putting the dirt on so it doesn't all slide off?
crazy squirrel wrote:
I did think about the Ancient Mayans and their stepped pyramids.
crazy squirrel wrote:Update:
I took 10-5 gallon buckets and filled them with wood chips then filled with rain water. All are frozen solid right now.
My theory is that water in the wood would freeze and help break apart the chips as well as saturate the wood chips prior to putting them in the hugel bed.
Might save time and watering effort labor.
Jen Fulkerson wrote:I think we all struggle with keeping the soil on the hugel. Like suggested I used lots of twigs, and straw, then more soil. On the ends where I found it the hardest to get the soil to stick I also used mud. I will never forget the look on my teenage sons face when he came out and found me elbow deep in the mud. The look on his face made me burst out laughing. He knew I had lost it when he found me playing in the mud. Makes me laugh just thinking about it. I have only built one hugelkultur, but I have lots of experience with this because my chickens thought it was great fun to kick all the soil I managed to get to stay in place off. I can't tell you how many times I rebuilt the top layers of my hugel. I finally had to put a fence around it. That did the trick thank goodness. When I planted at first I would build a stick dam, then fill with compost and plant in that so I wouldn't have seeds rolling down the side. It worked for me, and I think once that plants established themselves, the roots helped as well. Your hugel looks amazing to me.
Jen Fulkerson wrote:I feel silly, sorry I hate when I do that, it's not the first time, I try to remember to look at the dates, but sometimes I forget. Oh well.