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Buried wood/double dug and aboveground Hugel experiment,

 
Kris Mendoza
Posts: 78
Location: New England USA, Zone 7a
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bee hugelkultur urban
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Here are some photos of my experiments-- over the last week we expanded our little veggie garden from 5 4'x4' raised beds into a 5'x 20' hugel-ish bed and 2 4'x20' that are a buried wood/brush double dug hybrid kind of thing. We dug up all the grass/turf and stuffed it back in between the branches upside down. Added all the compst we had, went around our neighborhood swiping bags of other people's leaves, and mulched with leaves. The cardboard in the paths will, I hope, keep the grass from growing. We will mulch the paths with something.

I planted out some peas and favas on the hugelly one, along with spring garlic, mustard, and spinach. The other beds made of buried brush need to wait until the weather warms up a bit!

I have noticed that lots of people post photos of how they constructed their beds, and forget to stop back with reports on what actually grew. Probably because they are too busy eating all their giant tomatoes, pumpkins, etc. I will try to post here periodically, in hopes that others can learn from my mistakes and/or successes, and in hopes that you all will share your wisdom with me!
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The hugel-ish bed, halfway done. The squares in theforeground are the old deconstructed raised beds.
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Mulched just as the sun started setting!
 
Kris Mendoza
Posts: 78
Location: New England USA, Zone 7a
1
bee hugelkultur urban
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PS-- those cool trellises in the background are not mine ; they belong to my neighbor who grows amazing Asian vegetables like bitter melon!
 
Kris Mendoza
Posts: 78
Location: New England USA, Zone 7a
1
bee hugelkultur urban
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And I said I'd report back, but I never did! Here is the best photo of the hugel with green things growing. Sorry it's not very close up.  It's the back bed, behind the big sunflowers.

As for what I planted, the favas got some kind of mold or wilt or rot. The snap peas loved the hugel. The alliums grew decently, as did some dill and cilantro I scattered around. My purple mustard greens, which are foolproof everywhere else, were stunted and didn't grow past a few inches tall.

In the fall it started to settle a little and get gaps in places. Some little critters were digging around--squirrels hiding acorns, or mice actually building nests? Who knows. I tried to pack the holes that appeared with dirt and didn't worry about it too much. Whatever it was wasn't eating my veggies.

Next year the plan is peas and bush beans, with some herbs scattered around it. I was thinking about potatoes, but after watching a few youtube videos of the folks who grow their potatoes in bags and buckets and then just dump them out when they're done growing, that seems like a way easier way to grow taters.

I'll try to remember to post some year two photos!

Peace!
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