So I had to cut a Red Oak tree down on my property that was 30+ years old. Instead of burning it up, I decided to keep it on the property, buried under raised beds.
The beds are 3' x 12' each.
I used a back hoe for the excavation but put all the dirt back by hand so I could get it in all the crevices. (although I admit, probably not as good as it could have been done).
I covered up the stumps just enough before adding a layer of brush
I started to add in a layer of grass to add nitrogen but this was a pain in the butt so instead, I thought I would do cover cropping with nitrogen fixers instead. (after the first round of garden plants)
Here is the final stratification layers. The top 5" layer is a mixture of 50% sifted chicken manure compost 25% peat moss, 25% sand, 5% (approximately) rock dust. The middle 4-5" layer is the wood chips and large chunks sifted out of the compost. And then of course, the native soil underneath (which is heavy in clay)
I imagine this is going to settle quite a lot. Does anyone have any tips on what they would have done differently? I still have a whole lotta tree to bury. Kinda dreading it though since 1 bed took about 10 hours start to finish to complete.
Looks good, just make sure you fill the gaps with soil as you're building the hugels. They will settle quite a bit, I just keep adding compost and mulch to replenish mine that are built this way. You could possibly add another layer of woody material next time, with this style hugel I think you really only need six inched to a foot of soil for growing medium (kind of like a square foot garden bed preparation).