I've never dealt with a hugel bed, but I would imagine there's any easier way around this. Perhaps build the actual bed in fall, give it the winter (which tends to be wetter, guess it depends) to season itself, then plant it the next season. Like I've said, no experience to back it but it sounds reasonable enough.
With that said, a drip system is cheap enough, figure $14 for the 1/2" tubing, $5 for the emitters, $3 for the coupling to a garden hose, that it can't hurt to try it.
Location: North-Central Idaho, 4100 ft elev., 24 in precip
I'm going to run a temporary soaker hose along the ridge to provide a little more even moisture this year to get some perennial established. The top has been the section that has been really dry and not produced a lot of organic matter to help build the bed's fertility. Also the ridge of the bed gets the brunt of the wind so mulch doesn't really want to hang around up there either. All of these things add up to an area that hasn't performed well for me. It is only my second year with this bed, but I really want to get some perennial plants established on that ridge line. Most of the rest of the bed seems to stay adequately hydrated, and any water running off of the ridge should be taken up by the rest of the mound. In theory I like the idea of getting things off to a good start with some sort of irrigation and then dialing it back to reduce that dependence.
this is something I've been contemplating as I plan and create hugel beds in my greenhouse. The heat in summer is extraordinary, so I plan to leave the "translucent"/green corrugated roofing on in summer (for intense sun and torrential rain protection), as such, I think some irrigation will be useful, thinking about water in clay jugs buried in top layers, strategically, spiraling out from center top... to feed the pile, top down.
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