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Width and willow in hugelkultur  RSS feed

 
Posts: 14
Location: Denmark
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The thing my research about hugelkultur told me was that one: just the thing for lazy old me but more importantly that there's no mention about the increase in width from log pile to finished bed.

As I couldn't work out where people are getting the soil they put on top of the bed if they build from ground level up so I chose the dig-a-hole method. Maybe someone here can give me an answer as to where people are getting this soil from?
I chose to dig a 1 foot deep hole to get some soil to put on top. I meassured out the hole to the size of the bed I wanted keeping in mind that the width shouldn't be wider than I would be able to reach the middle from either side so I wouldn't have to walk/lean on the soil when planting and picking.
Then I build it and realized once I finished that the width had increased by 2-3 foot because of the layers on top of the logs so just a little tip from one newbie to another: dig the hole/pile the logs narrower than the desired witdth of the bed.

My property spots a narrow strip of pine "forrest" and a wildly overgrown weaving willow patch. So when it came to getting my grubby little hand on some wood I had the choice between willow, pine, elder and a tiny bit of maple and beech since I didn't want to pay for wood when I had some lying around my property and thought I'd just see how that would work. You know because I'm cheap erhm thrifty erhm I mean conscious about the environment.
I only used willow logs that was cut down last winter and absolutely only the ones that had fungi growing on it.

That was enough wood for the 1st bed but I want to build more but the only thing I'm currently left with is willow.
In Paul Wheaton's hugelkultur article thread a gry square comments he chips the wood for the bed and Paul answers "I wouldn't bother with the chipper". I completly agree with the exception of willow  because as we know willow grows as a motherf......
Clearing the willow patch we have been chipping a ton of it to do something with the mountainous amount of willow and this destroys it resprouting so it can be used in a hugelkultur.
Now a picture of the glorious build. You can see the "forrest" on the right side and the willow on the left - Its about 3 times taller than visable in the picture.


hugelkultur.jpg
[Thumbnail for hugelkultur.jpg]
nearly completed hugelkultur
 
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Karen Herløv Horte wrote:...

As I couldn't work out where people are getting the soil they put on top of the bed if they build from ground level up so I chose the dig-a-hole method. Maybe someone here can give me an answer as to where people are getting this soil from?

...

That was enough wood for the 1st bed but I want to build more but the only thing I'm currently left with is willow.
In Paul Wheaton's hugelkultur article thread a gry square comments he chips the wood for the bed and Paul answers "I wouldn't bother with the chipper". I completly agree with the exception of willow  because as we know willow grows as a motherf......
Clearing the willow patch we have been chipping a ton of it to do something with the mountainous amount of willow and this destroys it resprouting so it can be used in a hugelkultur.
Now a picture of the glorious build. You can see the "forrest" on the right side and the willow on the left - Its about 3 times taller than visable in the picture.



Hello!

Great work on your hugel bed! From what I have seen people get the soil from other portions of their property or have it delivered from off site. You could also use compost if you have enough compost but most people don't generate that much it seems.

Getting the soil from your property can work but it depends on your site and your goals. You can get creative with this and create a lot more variation on a flat property by digging large low areas and then mounding up large hugel beds. This can create a ton of great micro climates supporting a wide range of plants.

On my property I chose to bring soil in from off site and to also dig my beds down so they are partially hurried but still founded up. All in all this works for my site and my needs. My property already has a lot of natural variation so I did not feel a need to dig out new lowlands.

I think chipping the willow is a great idea. I always put a thick woodchip mulch layer on top of my beds and using your free and local source for this sounds great!
 
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