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Hugelkultur Garden Cubes!

 
Tim Burrows
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Just reused industrial food grade shipping containers for a 4 foot raised vertical hugelkultur mound. I molded the outer walls into pockets with a heat gun and chunks of 2x4. Inside is a mixture of old birch, compost and top soil that was ordered. Also 2 of them container a 2 foot clay olla, but I plan to water them from the roof...
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Dale Hodgins
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William Bronson
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Very cool! I can get non potable IBCs for next to nothing, I think they would work fine for something like this.
I have been thinking about making ibc's into sub irrigated planter, your way with increased planting space and also prevent root bound issues.
 
Kyrt Ryder
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William Bronson wrote:Very cool! I can get non potable IBCs for next to nothing, I think they would work fine for something like this.

I would advise caution here. Some of the non-potable material transported in these is really nasty stuff.
 
William Bronson
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True, but I am talking about using old soap containers and such,not anything that contained hardcore chemicals.
Even those could be used if you discarded plastic cube and just used the metal cage.
 
Pia Jensen
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that's a cool set up, though I think we accept plastic goods too easily. Is there possibly a toxins leaching into soil issue? sorry.
 
Tim Burrows
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Pia Jensen wrote:that's a cool set up, though I think we accept plastic goods too easily. Is there possibly a toxins leaching into soil issue? sorry.


I was concerned about it, and normally don't like plastic but these tanks were used to raise fish and are a uv stabilized food grade plastic....so hopefully they are okay!
 
chad Christopher
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I've seen individuals use those center pieces you have in there, as active vermipost tubes, throw in some screen, so worms don't migrate into the soil, and toss in bedding worms and food scrap. The vermipost leaches into the soil. If thats not what your already doing. I really like this design, especially the direct roof watering, how do you plan on controlling the water flow? This could be great for urban settings, imagine native flower cubes, where rainwater gardens have no soil, or not far enough away from foundations.
 
Vega Nunez
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Curious what cultivars you plan for the cubes, and with what anticipated result/ rate of success. When I first saw your post, I instantly though of strawberries. Thanks.
 
Colin Nelson
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Location: Baton Rouge, Louisiana
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I definitely want to follow this...excited to see how it does.
 
Tim Burrows
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Hope they work as well as I hope because I made 9 of them!! 6 on one side of the house, and 3 on the other. The final picture is a cube from last year I had inside of a cheap greenhouse until today.
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Tim Burrows
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Here's a quick video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SolPCb-r-EQ
 
Pia Jensen
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Tim Burrows wrote:
Awesome! Looks like that's going to be so full!!


Here's a quick video!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SolPCb-r-EQ
 
Tim Burrows
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSu_5o_a74A


Updated Garden Tour Video May 2015
 
sam na
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Nice. I really like these.

I'd second the idea of in-situ vermicomposting, that would make them into really useful units for people without gardens.

I also think they could be made self-watering pretty easily. Just scale this kind of thing up: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-t9gfWhZLEo a 200-300 litre water reservoir at the bottom would make these really hassle free.
 
Tim Burrows
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Lettuce, Spinach, Squash
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Cristo Balete
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Great job, Tim. Those are impressive cubes. I'm glad it was you, and not me, filling those up!

You might want to think about roof water coming from composite tiles. Here's a link that has gathered info from various sources. Might be safer to run it through a reed bed system first, or compost with it. Those tiles are always breaking down in the sun, and if all the water goes into those containers, whatever is coming off the roof will collect in them.

Everything I've read in the past says it should only be used for landscape, not edibles.

http://tylertork.com/diyrainbarrels/safety.html

 
Tim Burrows
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I enclosed 3 of the cubes in a small greenhouse along the side of the house. They all got extremely dry because the clay I used could not weep water as intended and the hugelkultur core was too fresh to hold water well. I eventually put a drip line to each cube and then everything was great again. Here is a few photos but there will be many more this spring.
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