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the ultimate seed mix for a brand new hugelkultur  RSS feed

 
paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 21349
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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Once built, the sides are steep and a bit of rain could make things messy.  It seems it would be wise to plant it within minutes with stuff that will germinated REALLY fast and start to do things to hold the soil in place.

My first thought is annual ryegrass.  It germinates very quickly and will start to make a root web.  And then it will all die with the first frost.  But if it goes to seed, it could be a problem.

Buckwheat?

Daikon radish?

 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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There's the option of seed germinating while you're still digging. 

Steve Solomon has developed a homebrew hydroseeding method, where seeds are sprouted in trays, and just as they begin to germinate, they're gently mixed into some gruel, and applied using a plastic bag with the corner snipped off (essentially, a pastry bag).

The starch from this method will also add some degree of early erosion-resistance.

I can't rely on frost to kill much of anything in my climate.

Might I recommend amaranth as a seed-mat-former? I've noticed it's also quick to germinate. I've read good things about millet in that regard, too, but don't have much experience with it.
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9690
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Cereal rye (Secale cereale) is, to me, the better choice than rye grass. 
 
Paul Cereghino
gardener
Posts: 856
Location: South Puget Sound, Salish Sea, Cascadia, North America
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Why not some variation on white clover (Trifolium repens) since you'll be wanting nitrogen amongst all that wood.  What are you planning... it seems like you'd want your erosion control approach to fit in your succession scheme.  I have been using crimson clover, favas and field peas mixed with some cereal rye when I want nitrogen over a short period, but switch to red and white clover if I want several years of performance, and maybe a bushy nitrogen fixer if I want 5 years of service.  Much erosion is caused by concentration of flow... watch out for topography that lends itself to gullies.  Much erosion is caused by rain drop impact.  Consider light mulch over seed for stop gap...  Mustart family can germinate in a couple days ad rapidly create cover, and then is relatively easy to kill.

 
Brenda Groth
pollinator
Posts: 4434
Location: North Central Michigan
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what about a mix of mesclun and greens that can be cut for salads for the main part of the bed and possibly some coles in the rest of the bed, say at the center where it might be harder to reach? This would be a good WINTER start for a bed at least..if it is too snowy put on a cold frame to keep it warm or a hoop frame..but a new bed will remain warmer anyway..
 
Richard Kastanie
Posts: 90
Location: Missouri Ozarks
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In southern Missouri, annual ryegrass as well as cereal rye winter over, I had both as cover crops in different patches last winter, it got down to about zero degrees in January, with maybe three inches of snow for some insulation but much of the plants were sticking above it. The annual ryegrass turned mostly brown but still with some green, and them perked up again with the next warm spell, and come spring started to go to seed before we hoed it in. Cereal rye just brushes off any cold we get here and stays pretty much green. Of course we're definitely warmer than Montana, but I just though I'd mention that it takes much more than a frost to kill annual ryegrass.
 
travis laduke
Posts: 163
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Nasturtium? They seem to pop up here within minutes of it raining.
 
Joel Hollingsworth
pollinator
Posts: 2103
Location: Oakland, CA
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It might be worth looking to a different kingdom: mycelia can grow very quickly; I imagine there's a clever way to get a good mat of fungal fibers to hold the surface together, in parallel with the development of plant roots.
 
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