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questions re what can go in hugelkultur

 
                            
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Location: Centennial, CO
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Heyya Folks,

New here. I'm planning to rebuild a derelict garden bed and was planning on using hugelkultur. I have a ton of woody yard waste, along with some gargantuan cottonwood logs and other smaller deadfall.

I was wondering if I can put other types of material into a hugelkultur:

rose canes (someone must've planted dozens back when the house was new and they are way out of control)

wood ash (I do a fair amount of heating with wood)

Grass has also invaded the bed and I was planning on digging that out and composting it in the bed.

Thanks for any and all help!
Owen
 
Tyler Ludens
pollinator
Posts: 9421
Location: Central Texas USA Latitude 30 Zone 8
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Make sure the rose canes are thoroughly dead before you put them in the hugel or they may take root!

 
                            
Posts: 4
Location: Centennial, CO
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Thank you. I suspected as much, and I sure don't want more of them!
 
Jeff Hodgins
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Never put walnut wood into it unless you want to grow blace berries as they are resistent to the alleopathic toxin.
 
                            
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Location: Centennial, CO
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Thanks. I don't have any walnut. I have some honey locust, some well rotted plum, small amounts of ash, conifers, and maple and what feels like a metric ton of huge cottonwood logs. Generally I burn the larger pieces of wood during the winter, but have enough to do a hugel bed as well.

I read in Carrots Love Tomatoes that the nutrients in wood are left behind in the ash, but I also understand that wood ash is generally added to soil in small amounts due to its ability to increase ph levels. But what if it's buried deep in a hugel bed?

Another question, too: what about redwood? I have some chunks left over from a construction project.

Take care!
Owen
 
brett watson
Posts: 100
Location: Northern California Zone 8b
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my question is about conifers. I have what I think is grey pine rounds, I'm not quite sure but that is a prominent pine around here and we received about a cord of it from an assistance program. Paul posted a video where he makes a point about not using conifers but I would like to know more about why. Also I have abundant blue oak I can use. Would that work?
 
Tyler Ludens
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I use juniper, oak, elm, hackberry, and persimmon in mine.  Mostly oak, though.

 
                            
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Location: Centennial, CO
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"Paul posted a video where he makes a point about not using conifers but I would like to know more about why."

I was under the impression that too much coniferous material would acidify the soil. Hopefully that is the correct answer.

Owen
 
brett watson
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So can I use some coniferous material? Should I use none? Some with a preferred other type to balance it out?
Are there plants that I could use it with that can tolerate a more acidic soil?
I am only asking because I have so much grey pine available in rounds.
Thanks again.
 
George Lee
Posts: 539
Location: Athens, GA/Sunset, SC
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rathersurf wrote:
So can I use some coniferous material? Should I use none? Some with a preferred other type to balance it out?
Are there plants that I could use it with that can tolerate a more acidic soil?
I am only asking because I have so much grey pine available in rounds.
Thanks again.
Berries love acidified soil.. I've made some hugel mounds with a generous mix of maple, southern white pine, and blackjack oak... I'd use hardwoods over conifer for the most part, depending on your plant species. Again, berries, such as blueberry shrubery LOVE acidic soil types..
I've done some stacked beds with green/brown/scraps/green/brown/green/topsoil and used decomposed pine logs (on the forest floor for years) and it became an over-acidified environment for the young plants I transplanted in that particular bed..
 
brett watson
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We just got some berries, including blueberries. I am really excited about that. Thanks
 
tel jetson
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otierney wrote:
I was under the impression that too much coniferous material would acidify the soil. Hopefully that is the correct answer.


unlikely.  it's possible, but I haven't seen any evidence that conifers change pH.  my guess is that it's a misunderstanding and that many conifer species grow well in soil that was acidic to begin with.
 
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