I am the worlds biggest fence sitter. Most of mine runs predominantly northwest to southeast, although both ends wander into a more north south orientation before they blend into the rest of the terrain. It may be another option for those who have trouble choosing in a false dichotomy. Remember, these are Hugel beds and are supposed to be organic things. They are not Lego bricks that snap down on only two axes. Orienting them along topographical lines IMHO is way more important than cardinal lines.
What's everyone's thoughts on what direction the hugelkultur beds face?
Is it better to go north/south so both sides get sun? Or east/west for more sun on one side, more shade on the other?
What else makes you decide how to face the beds?
it depends on the lay of the land and soil structure , each set up is unique to it's self. [we have a 1''-10'' fall off]
our hills are approximately north and south for drainage purposes.
most of the water in the area runs on top of the bedrock [12-24''deep] in the spring were the bed's are.
the bed's will get all the water it can hold and pass the rest on down the hill.
as for sun,our season is short so we will take all we can get on both sides of the hill.
Matthew, I seem to recall Sepp Holzer mentioning placing them at least roughly perpendicular to the prevailing wind. You might want to factor that in as well. I am located far enough north that orienting the hugelbeds north-south solved the wind problem and maximized sunlight for the beds.
Rocket Mass Heater Plans: Annex 6" L-shaped Bench by Ernie and Erica