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Hugel tunnel or Hugel dome. Sheltered Hugel.

 
Davis Bonk
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I was wondering if anyone has done any experiments with enclosing a Hugel under row cover or plastic. I scored the plastic off a greenhouse that was recovered and I was going to put it on my mound to warm it up, but it looks like the lambsquarters already germinated. I'm hesitant to put it on because I have garlic in the mound that I just spring planted and I don't want it to get choked out. After the garlic is harvested I think I'm gonna plant cold hardy greens all over it and make a low frame over the mound so it is in its own tunnel/cold frame. Anyone have experience with this? Otherwise if anyone has any success jump starting their mound this way this spring it'd be good to know. Even better to know if it's a tragic failure.
 
wayne fajkus
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The benefit of hugel is the water absorption of the wood. I'd be concerned the hoop would impede water getting to it, but on the flip side the hi humidity would slow the evaporation down. Interesting idea
 
Davis Bonk
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Thanks for the heads up on the water issue. I have a soaker hose that is roughly the length of the mound that I had on it when I first built it. I'll have to install it again. I'm not sure what I'm gonna do when it's too cold to use the garden hose. I guess I'll have to drain it and hope it doesn't freeze or carry and hand water. I'll have to make a hand pump with a wand to get the top.
 
Davis Bonk
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I'm now also fairly optimistic the wood will have plenty of water on reserve for winter if I make sure that it is soaked in the fall.
 
wayne fajkus
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Yeah. Once saturated the water should condense on the plastic, roll back down to ground and recharge the wood. Starting to sound like a solid plan.
 
Davis Bonk
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It snowed last night but the garlic and lambsquarters are unfazed.
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Davis Bonk
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Sorry I rotated. It's 1 to 2 degrees warmer in the deeper pockets where I made mini terraces for the bulbs. The first pic is on a knuckle.
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Davis Bonk
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Cat facing up-mound for reference
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Davis Bonk
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Micro climates with no snow
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Davis Bonk
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I tilled really early to try and warm the soil. I tilled again last night to try and get ahead of the grass. I lifted part of the plastic up in hopes my chickens will find the green grass. Note the part along the fence is still snowy even though it was the first thing I tilled. The fence is the southern border and casts a good shadow. The strips on the right are where I planted potatoes and hilled them with a hoe. It's crazy how the cool soil from below holds snow and the stuff that baked in the sun melted it off
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Davis Bonk
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I should also mention this is zone 4 MN. But back to the original topic. Does anyone have any objections to calling it a hugelarium?
 
William Bronson
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Location: Cincinnati, Ohio,Price Hill 45205
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So cool, a great idea! I have been toying with the idea of a clothesline hoop house, two or four poles, holding one or two lines, with plastic drapped over them and gathered at the ends.
I think this could work over a mound, and the mound is a great heat sink, being dark and wet.
 
Tyler Miller
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Location: Trapper Creek, AK (3a)
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Thanks for sharing your experiment!

I'll definitely be following this thread as I also want to combine hugelkultur and plastic tunnels.

We don't usually have to irrigate where I live, but our summers are wet and cold enough that a lot of things don't grow well here. I wanted to combine raised beds and tunnels to create hotter, dryer microclimates. Having to water all the time didn't sound appealing, but when I read about hugelkultur it seemed like a good way keep the plants from dying if for some reason I couldn't water them for a week.

I'm a bit concerned about ventilation, but I think there are ways that could keep it from becoming a problem.

Do you plan to take the plastic off when it gets warmer, or are you going to leave it on all season?
 
Davis Bonk
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I'm planning on covering it when it cools in the fall and things start getting frosty and. hopefully I'll have a warm mass that slowly releases heat.
 
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