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Posts: 248
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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I'm new and have been at this for about 10 years. I've been making raised beds for herbs and flowers. The property owner raises horses, his wife raises goats. We have goats and chickens, so we have our choice of manure plus we make compost. I use the 'wasted' hay from the goats for deep litter and goat bedding, then build another bed. I would like to put a hugel or 2 on the hillside, put a few nut trees on it and some more plants. The plants I've got now pull in pollinators and are drought hardy. I won't take care of a plant that is only a pretty face.

My husband and I live in Okanogan County in WA. I would like to meet others that have successfully used permaculture in this area to help him see that this is a possibility for us. I need his skills. He has no interest in this yet.
 
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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I would like to put a hugel or 2 on the hillside, put a few nut trees on it and some more plants.


It is highly discouraged to plant any trees on a huglebed.
Tree's roots need a stable place to grab hold and stay.
A hugel bed does NOT provide a stable base.  It is constantly shrinking & settling.
Most trees will fail under those conditions.

Plant annuals on a hugel, not perennials.

 
Liz Hoxie
Posts: 248
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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Thanks,John. I was wondering about that. The ground really doesn't need enriching, but I don't want it to get worn out. Would a raised bed work? The area is a somewhat steep slope. The landowner likes things to look nice. I tend to agree but he wants them to look nice all the time; I like them to look nice once they're finished.

I need to do more research in the area that I want to go in. Like I said, I'm going about this backwards.
 
pollinator
Posts: 347
Location: S. Ontario Canada
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The hugel will catch run off on the slope. I planted trees on the uphill side of the hugel in undisturbed ground. They have deep roots that will be below the hugel in a year or two anyway and they stabilize the slope.
 
Liz Hoxie
Posts: 248
Location: Ellisforde, WA
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Thanks,Roy. The slope is stable. We do keep grass on it, but it's either dying or dead by July. That area just needs help. This helped me to help it!
 
gardener
Posts: 2636
Location: Fraser River Headwaters, Zone3, Lat: 53N, Altitude 2750', Boreal/Temperate Rainforest-transition
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I would like to put a hugel or 2 on the hillside,

 depending on how these are constructed, you might have problems.  A large hugul, or one running cross slope  (especially on contours), can catch and hold way too much water, and the result is that can cause a landslide.  The more your wood is below grade, and your mound short, and the less continuous your mound is across the slope, the less issues you will have with this problem, from my understanding.  Here's a great article/video about it: jack spirko on hugul swales

While it is not recommended to plant trees on hugul beds, it is great to do so beside the hugul, particularly down slope of it.  
 
John Polk
steward
Posts: 7926
Location: Currently in Lake Stevens, WA. Home in Spokane
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While it is not recommended to plant trees on hugul beds...


This brings up a thought from Sepp Holzer.  He states that the hugel should be steep enough that you cannot walk on it.  If you follow that advice, how could you manage (prune, etc.) the trees, yet alone harvest the fruits/nuts.  You would need a very tall ladder just to reach the lowest limbs.

 
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