• Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic

converting brush pile to hugelkultur

 
Jeff Hodgins
Posts: 193
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have been doing hugelkulture without knowing a term for it. The poit is that as I clear land of the dense under-brush and some of the very thorny trees (I have decided to cut) I make small piles of it. The piles are as high as I can  make them about ten feet and I try to keep them about fifteen feet around. They are no more than forty feet apart to avoid carrying anything more than twenty feet or so (why do extra work moving it). I plan to let it rot down where it sits, using big rocks to press it together aiding decomposition.
I don`t know how I`ll cover the piles because the land is almost pure calcate rock with minimal red soil in it. Ive noticed that roots disolve the rocks so I`m going to try covering some piles with a mix of smaller rocks and soil. I may also bring in sand or subsoil from the nearby quarry.
I welcome any input about how much soil I will  actually need and if you think my soil from rock idea will work. Also cant I grow some things in the pure wood or just leave a six-eight inch layer of wood mulch on topÉ
 
                                            
Posts: 31
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think unless you cover it and keep it moist, it'll take a decade or so before it rots enough for you to plant on.

 
            
Posts: 77
Location: Northport, Wash.
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would have to agree with neoplasticity, hugelculture is really just composting with larger materials, and needs to be arranged as any other composting operation.
The largest piles we have made here are only about 3 feet tall, covered with old hay, then a thin layer of soil.  Seems to be working as it should.

We have old slash piles left over from logging done over ten years ago, just laying there exposed to the weather, and the wood is still in pretty good shape.

We lay some wood in the area we are building the mound in, get the kids to stomp the daylights out of it, add some more ,stomp some more, etc. until it is the size we want, then add the hay and soil.
 
                          
Posts: 10
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would suggest mushrooms. Oyster, shitakes, and morel all take well to wood. And the mushrooms will speed up decomposition while producing a viable crop.
 
                                              
Posts: 500
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
  i don't think pressing the logs together with big rocks is the way to go to aid decomposition. you want a wed of microbial life up around it. So you could dump your table scraps in there, and bunches of weeds, manure, soil whatever. Being a big stack of wood it will still take a lot of time to break down though.

  there an alternative. You could go the biochar/terr preta route with the piles. being in large piles already you could read up on the old school ways of making charcoal. charcoal does amazing things in a soil. As does hugelkulture but in the charcoals case it lasts for 1000s of years. its a great thing if yo have the excess biomass to do it with.

  you can also do both.
 
Jordan Lowery
pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: zone 7
12
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
if you keep those piles moist youll have soil before you know it to cover some more beds or spread around the place. if it dries out it will take forever as said.
 
Jeff Hodgins
Posts: 193
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thank you all so much.
Im new to Permies, just a few days and I think its great!!!
I feel I finaly have a peer group, you dont know how much it means to me realy thank you.
 
  • Post Reply
  • Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic