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I'm gonna try a not raised Hugel

 
cliff jones
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I have this acrage im working on in Petal MS. It's pretty wet here, gets pretty hot, there are occasional frosted nights.

I have what i think is decent soil, not great. It's pretty compacted stuff, covered by lawn, a little sandy too, but nice and dark for a foot or so below surface.

I'm chisel plowing on contour, and following the plow with broadcasting black eye pea and mix with clover, for hitting different root depths and also planning for the heat loving peas to shade the shade tolerant clover and protect them from the heat its a little sensitive to.

My thing I plan to do which I haven't yet seen done (maybe because it doesn't work) relates to what seems to have once been the former occupants garden area that they took down after moving.

It's a square of flat land that looks like there used to be a garden over it, and now it's a dry compacted square. I'm not doing the cover crop there, what I'm going to do instead is dig a big square hole, and dump some wood in there, then I'll use some dirt to cover the wood, buy some compost and put it on the dirt, and grow annuals over my wood while i wait for my chisel treatment to become effective. So not a raised soil/organic matter covered wood mound raised over the earth, a hole in the earth that I hope will become deep rich soil. Sound good? Should I cover crop the square anyway if I can? I do have a long term view of the project here.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Like this? http://www.permies.com/t/52077/hugelkultur/Buried-Wood-Beds

This is what I use and it works very well.

 
Travis Johnson
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Oh it will do well. I did this in various places on my lawn and wish I never did (sort of) it really grows causing me to mow it a lot more!
 
cliff jones
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yeah thats it!
 
Su Ba
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I have numerous "hugelkultur pits" (that's what I call them) on my homestead. I hadn't even heard about hugelkultur yet when I filled in these hefty holes by layering logs and tree limbs along with green waste and manure. All of these pits were a minimum of one cubic yard. They ranged in size up to the biggest that could have swallowed my Ford F150 pick up truck with plenty of room left over, another that could easier hide my hubby's VW Bug. Once filled and decomposed down somewhat, I capped them with generous layers of green waste and soil. It was a great way to get rid of the massive amount of organic waste being generated as I cleared land for gardens.

I'm growing bananas atop these hugel-pits. I've never had to water those trees even during drought years. The hugel-pits work fine.
 
Dave Dahlsrud
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The hugel pit should work fine, but you might get similar results just sheet mulching the area. Save yourself the digging and build on top unless you really have a bunch of wood debris that you don't have another use for.
 
leila hamaya
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it's a great idea and may work out great for you.
the only thing i would be a bit concerned about is you say it gets really wet, and the area is already compacted, guessing maybe clay ey too (?)
a buried hugel, and "really wet" dont really go together in my mind, but maybe i am over estimating what you mean by really wet. also depending on whats there, if there is clay or draining soil around it.

in which case it could (or not, idk) become water logged and just gather water without being able to drain well. this could be gotten around by designing it well, maybe making a drain trench somewhere, or perhaps digging a slope into it.

taking some of the dirt from one side of the hole, dug much deeper, and then using that and logs to create a slope inside the hole...with perhaps a trench leading away from it. it wouldnt have to be extreme amount of slope, just some subtle slope, with a subtle trench, filled in with gravel or sand or something....

thats probably what i would do, though hard to say anything without actually knowing what youre dealing with...

 
Tyler Ludens
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Dave Dahlsrud wrote:The hugel pit should work fine, but you might get similar results just sheet mulching the area. Save yourself the digging and build on top unless you really have a bunch of wood debris that you don't have another use for.


That has not been my experience in a dry climate.

 
Dave Dahlsrud
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Tyler Ludens wrote:
Dave Dahlsrud wrote:The hugel pit should work fine, but you might get similar results just sheet mulching the area. Save yourself the digging and build on top unless you really have a bunch of wood debris that you don't have another use for.


That has not been my experience in a dry climate.



I could see that, but the OP said they get pretty wet so building up can be a good option.
 
Tyler Ludens
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Sorry, I saw "dry, compacted"!
 
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