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Very large hugle bed need advice !!!!

 
anthony frierson
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I have a few questions before I start this massive undertaking. I have 4 acres I'd like to turn in to hugleculture. I know it seems like a lot but let me explain what I have at my disposal. We are currently clearing 40 acres of timber for pasture and thinking out the property. We have a bulldozer guy who has a large d6 dozer that is going to terrace the hills and he said he would bury the trees in the 4 acres. So now you know how I'm going to do it, here are my questions. The trees we have plenty off are pines. Mixed in are a few hardwoods but I would like to keep everything consistent. Will pines do ok and how deep should I bury them? The trees are around 30 - 50' in height so I'm guessing around 75 - 100 trees. I we then disc up the ground and plant a cover crop. I will be taking pictures please tell me what I am missing. I'm seriously going to a temp this. Everything is in place to get it done with little effort on my part I just want to do it right. Thanks in advance for the help
 
Jay Grace
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Location: Nauvoo, AL
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I'm confused.. So you're pushing up 30-50ft trees with the intent on using them for hugelculture?
I'm also assuming that you're paying the dozer guy at least $100/hr.

Why waste that many good trees? Have a logging company come out and pay YOU for the trees.
Trust me there will be plenty of left overs.
Stumps, limbs, tops, and random broken trees will be everywhere.
You could work it out with the logging company to have what you wanted done for FREE and you still get cash in hand.

Down here in Alabama you can get $700-$1000/acre easily for mixed plantings of trees.

I just wouldn't bury such a valuable resource in the name of hugelculture.

 
anthony frierson
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Funny you say that I'm in Alabama as well. We are actually clearing 40 acres and selling the timber. Some of the pulp wood trees we have ate massive and do not sell well to timber companies. So I was going to do is drag a few loads to a 4 acre plot I dedicated to hugleculture. As far as the dozer guy goes he's my cousin and I have him for the day for free (thank god for family. So that's why I need to know that info.
 
Milo Jones
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anthony frierson wrote:Will pines do ok and how deep should I bury them?

I think that is the key question, and I don't know the answer.
*edit
If you are going to disc it and run machinery over it I suspect you want all the significant wood to be below any depth your equipment might penetrate.
 
Jay Grace
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Anthony those large diameter logs can be sold as veneer logs if they are solid all the way through, straight, and clean with no limbs.
My brother had a section cut that had a 40"+ tulip popular on it and the lumber guys went and BOUGHT a saw just to cut it.
They were pretty excited about it.
 
Bryant RedHawk
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anthony frierson wrote:I have a few questions before I start this massive undertaking. I have 4 acres I'd like to turn in to hugleculture. I know it seems like a lot but let me explain what I have at my disposal. We are currently clearing 40 acres of timber for pasture and thinking out the property. We have a bulldozer guy who has a large d6 dozer that is going to terrace the hills and he said he would bury the trees in the 4 acres. So now you know how I'm going to do it, here are my questions. The trees we have plenty off are pines. Mixed in are a few hardwoods but I would like to keep everything consistent. Will pines do ok and how deep should I bury them? The trees are around 30 - 50' in height so I'm guessing around 75 - 100 trees. I we then disc up the ground and plant a cover crop. I will be taking pictures please tell me what I am missing. I'm seriously going to a temp this. Everything is in place to get it done with little effort on my part I just want to do it right. Thanks in advance for the help


hau, Anthony, glad you recognize this as a massive undertaking.
Are you leaving any of the hardwoods for shade areas in the new pasture?
I would recommend you do that, cows, horses, and all other four legs like and need some areas to lay around in the shade in the southern summer heat.

Now as far as the growing mounds go, yes you can use the pine logs to build those with.
Try to make sure you have lots of green materials to put in there too.
I have found that running mounds east - west works best on my land, the mounds get more useable sun in that orientation in my situation.
If you are going to put these on sloping land, an up hill swale will help keep the logs saturated with water.
Large stuff goes on the bottom (I like to go down around 3-4 feet for the base) once the bottom logs are in place, try to get some grass clippings, fallen leaves and so on to lay on and stuff into the spaces between the logs.
Follow that stuff with a layer of dirt then on to the next layer and repeat until you have the mound built up as high as you want it.
In my case, the hardwoods would best serve me as either mushroom logs or firewood, but that is just my case.
Hardwoods are also great for introducing mycorrhizal fungi into the mound, the pine, not so much.

Many folks think (and it can be shown through science) that the pine needles will add acidity to soils.
I have found that the most acidic infusion comes from pine needles used as a mulch.
If you bury needles along with wood and use greens to add nitrogen, then the acidification is far less than if the needles were used as a mulch.

By layering as you go, paying attention to what you put into each layer, you can build some awesome mounds that will give you great returns.

Edit:
There is no need or benefit of tillage on a freshly built mound.
I am assuming you are talking about the pasture space and or the between mound spaces when you mention tillage of soil so it becomes just dirt.
If you have or can get access to a seed drill you will do better for the soil than running a disc over it before planting.
Remember, when you turn over the soil, you kill all the living organisms in the layers you disturb.
This means you then have to put in new organisms for the dirt to become soil again.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://stoves2.com
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