First off hi, this is my first post to any gardening forum ever. I don't know the first thing about gardening, but recently started reading up on hugelkultur articles, blogs, and forums (including this one). We decided to build a couple of small hugelkultur beds in the back yard. We built them entirely above ground with a little work as possible, and planted vegetables on them the same day we completed them (May 23rd of this year). This is the most success I've ever had gardening. Here are some pictures of how the hugel beds are doing now, with a yardstick for size comparison.
This first one is a tomato plant roughly 6.5 weeks after planting it as a small store bought plant, the tallest branch is a little over 5.5 feet off the ground:
Here are our yellow squash of some sort 6 weeks after poking the seeds into the ground:
Cucumbers are about 4 weeks old after sticking the seeds into the beds:
Here is a side view of the hugel bed so you can get an idea of it's width. The yardstick is a bit closer to the camera then the bed, but you can get the general idea of size:
This is the most success we've ever had with gardening and we're thinking of building some larger hugelkultur beds this winter. I've never really done much gardening, so I don't know if this method is doing better than a conventional garden would, but it is doing well enough for me and it is extremely low maintenance.