• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

Hugel-barrel?

 
Mat Ar
Posts: 31
Location: Texas USA
3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I am want to test the Hugelkultur based system on a small scale. I have several 55gallon barrels some are cut in half and others are just topless. I plan on growing ginger, spring onion, Daikon Radish, squash, and a few berries(not too sure which ones just yet). I have grown all these in pots before using normal soil and fertilizers...the water requirements, and fertilizer prices are a bit higher than I would like. I have looked into the "do's and don'ts" of hugel beds and I have read some conflicting reports saying that Oak wood is not a good. Here is what I have:

1. Oak, Mesquite, cotton wood, a bunch of other softwood trees.
2. Super hard clay soil,
3. small stones, about gulf ball size.
4. barrels, shovels, etc.
5. the next 3 weeks with nothing to do!

Am I missing anything?
 
Rose Pinder
Posts: 393
Location: Otago, New Zealand
3
 
Kim Sleuwaegen
Posts: 6
Location: Belgium
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
You could layer it
Bottom layer pebbles funnel shaped so the wood can absorb moisture when there is only litttle available
second layer chipped wood a mixture of both softwood and oak
Third layer your soil but improved as suggested with some readily available nitrogen source

I don't know where to add in the shovels though
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1046
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
7
forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sounds like a SIP (Sub Irrigated Planter) .
I agree with Kim, but would add pee, to add nitrogen.
 
Mat Ar
Posts: 31
Location: Texas USA
3
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
In Response to - Rose Pinder: I had read one of them...As far as Nitro fixers....I dont think I have much in the way of those. I can get bucket loads of grass Clippings, oak leaves, horse manure, Chicken Manure, & cow manure. If anything there would help fix the Nitro imbalance

Kim: LOL Shovels of course just used as tools. As far as amended soil, I dont really like using Chemicals.

William: William your a madman!!!.....Pee you say? LOL Would it be simpler to use nitrogen fixing plants such as legumes, clover, Daikons...etc?

A question...Should I punch some drainage holes into the bottom to allow for free draining or just leave it sealed?
 
Kim Sleuwaegen
Posts: 6
Location: Belgium
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hey Mat

Wasn't actually suggesting chemicals but didn't know if you had any nitrogen source available, I guess William came up with a source everyone has available
We also have heavy clay soils here and I have had some great results mixing in aged horse manure.

As for the drainage holes I guess it's either that or the small stones. If you go with the small stones you could put some sort of drainage pipe in near the side thus enabling you to check the height of the water in the barrel by poking a stick into it, like an oil dipstick (hope that makes sense and doens't sound like an insult, my English isn't all that good)
 
William Bronson
Posts: 1046
Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
7
forest garden trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Pee FTW! I would put slits in the sides about 1/3 or 1/2 way up the containers. This would keep the soil in and let the liquids out, but also create a reservoir of liquids.
 
Dave Dahlsrud
Posts: 446
Location: North-Central Idaho
23
books food preservation fungi hugelkultur trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I've made something similar to this with a bottomless barrel. It works good if you don't really want to move it a whole lot. What I did was just grab a stump a little smaller than the diameter of the barrel and dropped it in....drains great, and holds plenty of moisture. Nice big hugel-pot! There is a little less than 10 inches of soil in the pot, but it grows nice massive tomato plants that produce well. As far as nitrogen imbalance goes it really seems to be a moot point. The only place where this takes place is at the interface between the soil and carbon (wood). With a large mass of wood that interface is pretty small and you should have plenty of soil to make up for that loss. If you are really concerned about it put in a layer of something with lots of nitrogen between the soil and wood. BTW human urine diluted about 10:1 is a really good fertilizer, high in nitrogen and sanitary (just don't leave it sitting around for a long time...use it up right away!). I've made quite a few hugel type beds and none have shown any signs of lacking nitrogen, and they're only getting more productive as time goes on!
 
Victor Johanson
Posts: 355
Location: Fairbanks, Alaska
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I converted a few of my 39 bathtubs to hugel-tubs. They work pretty good.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic