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droughts and floods

 
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I'm a midwest gardener planning my transition to h/k.
Critical question.

I understand the value of h/k in reducing the need for irrigation.
What happens in years like 2015, when we have extended heavy
rains? (7 weeks this early summer) Does the raised h/k bed shed the excess water?
Or does the bed retain water longer?

With recent weather history, I'm expecting drought years...h/k ;~)!!
alternating with years of heavy rain...h/k???
Larry
 
pollinator
Posts: 2094
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Good question. I'd like to hear about other people's experiences too.

I have numerous Hugel-pits. No mounds. By dumb luck my pits are in locations of good drainage. Thus none have turned into bogs this past year, a year of unusually high rainfall for me. All the hugelpits are working out well.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1189
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Droughts and floods? Are you in MO? We usually have both in the same year.
 
pollinator
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Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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My entire kitchen garden is buried wood and it has done well through both drought and flood this year. I did have to irrigate some during the drought months, but previous to using buried wood, I was not able to irrigate enough to keep it alive through the summer.

 
Posts: 31
Location: NE Ga, Zone 7b/8a
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Droughts or deluges describe Ga weather as well. I have found that hugels handle both quite well. The bottoms of the hugels are dug a foot below grade and they rise about 1m above grade. The soils in the area of the hugles are 20 cm of sandy clay which doesn't percolate over clayey sand which drains slowly. I do have to replace soil that washes off the hugels in places after the deluges until there is a sunny spell and the clay bakes into adobe like hardness. (I put pockets of compost or well rotted wood chips on the slopes of the steep sided hugels to get the plants started in.)
';
 
Posts: 20
Location: Oklahoma
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Because the soil is rich, I planted my tomatoes at the bottom end of a long gentle slope where water accumulates before running off into the storm water drainage further below. To avoid normal excess moisture at its roots I dug in shallow 1 foot hugel beds. I was not careful about their build. I only wanted to keep water off the roots under normal conditions. These types of hugels will be completely gone after a year. Not much to them, only for the season. I find that if I build it, the roots will find a way to use it and benefit. Like magic. These hugels were in ground, not raised. Oklahoma received record rains in May of this year. The entire area was flooded, a couple times. The tomato plants did not have any sings of problems. The excess moisture drains off quickly where the wood rests and only the wood retains the moisture. I have heavy clay soils, btw, with a good filtration rate to begin with. Filtration rate matters. If filtration rate is too slow, you want an above ground hugel bed.

Amazingly, I had very few cracked tomatoes. We crept right into drought in August. I never watered them. I'm still getting tomatoes. Hugel beds just work!!

bon

 
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