• Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies living kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • raven ranson
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Julia Winter
garden masters:
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • thomas rubino
  • Bill Crim
  • Kim Goodwin
  • Joylynn Hardesty
gardeners:
  • Amit Enventres
  • Mike Jay
  • Dan Boone

Raised garden Hugelkulter  RSS feed

 
Posts: 2
Location: Pukemiro New Zealand
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi  I have been looking at the hugelkulter as a way of gardening for me . I am Paraplegic and live in New Zealand. I have made some raised garden beds and some troughs to alleviate bending down , they work well as far as growing , but keeping the moisture right is a battle . I was wondering if anybody has had experience with logs cut to say 2 feet long and stood on end packed together in a walled structure  to allow about a foot of soil on top of them  to try and moderate the moisture .  Id thought i might Ram some clay pretty tight for a base then stand the logs and surround them with sand  , then put the soil on top. The reason for this is that the conventional mound you fellas use is not accessible to me because of my mobility issues. Any help appreciated. Pete
 
pollinator
Posts: 290
Location: Quebec, Canada
25
forest garden hugelkultur trees urban
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I would make sure that the clay is well packed amongst your logs so that you do not have empty cavities.  If you have a way to shade the sides of your raised beds so the beating sun is not drying out your bed quicker than not.

If your climate is dry, you will always have the challenge of watering a raised bed compared to if your garden was in the ground.  But it is understandable that a raised bed is a necessity for you.  Keep us posted if you choose this method and how it works for you so that others can learn from your efforts.
 
Posts: 113
Location: Central Maine
9
homeschooling hugelkultur trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I have made raised hugel beds surrounded with rocks and it works very well.  I would think the frame you are talking about would also work well.
 
pollinator
Posts: 1820
Location: Toronto, Ontario
125
bee forest garden fungi hugelkultur cooking rabbit trees urban wofati
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Because you need the walls vertical to be able to get in close without leaning in or getting creative, I would suggest ramming the two foot lengths into your clay base, packing them in tightly as you say. If this isn't high enough for access, I would suggest an outer cladding of boards, pallet wood, or even branches cut to length and tied or otherwise affixed to your log platform to extend the walls as high as you need them.

Actually, I would make the outer course of rammed log longer than the inside ones, to the desired depth of your garden bed, such that the outer course contains your soil. I would then wrap the whole thing in landscape fabric, or something else that is breatheable but largely hydrophobic. This will cut down on wind dessication.

As to packing the spaces between the logs with clay, I wouldn't. I would instead make sure that nitrogen-rich materials like rotted leaves, coffee grounds, and fresh manure be sifted down into the spaces between the logs. On top of the logs, I would put down a thick layer of the subsoil and topsoil you removed to reach the clay to pound in your log piers, followed by the same mixed with compost, and your mulch of choice on top, probably about three inches for moisture retention and weed control.

It is critical to remember that the bed won't acquire its sponge-like qualities until the logs start to decompose. It will require regular watering until that time.

In the first year, soil life will colonise the bed from below, and low in the bed, the nitrogen you packed between your piers will aid in the decomposition of the logs, but slowly, and in a way that leaves much of the structure intact. Above the logs, you will have a garden bed with most of the downsides of a garden planter of the same size, requiring more watering than a conventional, in-ground bed in the same space. Don't let this discourage you. Simply plan to have the bed drip-irrigated until it gets properly established.

Please do let us know how it goes, and good luck.

-CK
 
gardener
Posts: 4890
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
564
books chicken dog duck fish forest garden fungi homestead hugelkultur hunting pig
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Peter Roberts wrote:Hi  I have been looking at the hugelkulter as a way of gardening for me . I am Paraplegic and live in New Zealand. I have made some raised Garden beds and some troughs to alleviate bending down , they work well as far as growing , but keeping the moisture right is a battle . I was wondering if anybody has had experience with logs cut to say 2 feet long and stood on end packed together in a walled structure  to allow about a foot of soil on top of them  to try and moderate the moisture .  Id thought i might Ram some clay pretty tight for a base then stand the logs and surround them with sand  , then put the soil on top. The reason for this is that the conventional mound you fellas use is not accessible to me because of my mobility issues. Any help appreciated. Pete



This is one of the best methods for building a hugel bed Peter, it also allows for stepping the sides (mini terrace) so you have easier access and less soil sloop over time.
Most hugel beds experience some soil slippage over time, especially at the first year while roots are getting knitted together, which is what holds the soil on the slope of the hugel.

I know there is a thread in hugelkultur about this very method, I believe it was Paul that started it and it has some good diagrams and photos if I'm not mistaken.

Redhawk
 
Peter Roberts
Posts: 2
Location: Pukemiro New Zealand
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for those tips people . I had been wondering about nitrogen depletion  and thought that as we have a big Dairy farm just up the road i may be able to get some of the manure still runny from the 'cowshed"we call it i think you call them milking Parlor that would fill the voids more easily that the sand i thought i might be able to pack in with a concrete vibrator.  Also i have available  Radiata Pine logs they are the slash from managed forests of this weed that grows here i understand it native to west coast North America , are they suitable for this purpose?  i have noticed in the past using woodchip mulch sourced from the people that trim back the treees on roadsides that some varieties dont seem to work as well and even suppress growth. Any comments appreciated
Thanks
Pete
 
Bryant RedHawk
gardener
Posts: 4890
Location: Vilonia, Arkansas - Zone 7B/8A stoney, sandy loam soil pH 6.5
564
books chicken dog duck fish forest garden fungi homestead hugelkultur hunting pig
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I recommend you don't use "runny" cow manure, the risk of pathogenic bacteria is quite a bit higher in that sort of manure, better to let it dry out then crumble it into voids.
Microbiologist (like me) are just now starting to be able to unravel the interactions found in the human microbiome, we have a lot to do since the only way to distinguish between strains of bacteria is through genetic coding.
In the USA, many of the Ecoli out breaks are being traced back to the use of raw animal manures in liquid form (from the sludge pits), while this might not be your source, why take the chance.

You don't want to compact any material so tightly that air and water can not get in, that will create an anaerobic set of conditions, anaerobic is not good for plants, microorganisms we want in our garden beds.

Noting wrong with pine as long as it has had about a year to dry out, fresh cut trees do have some allopathic compounds present but as the wood dries, this seems to go away.

Road side trimmings can have herbicide spray residues, that will suppress plants you want from growing. 

I am working, with another fellow, on a remediation study which uses fungi to break down herbicides in soil and wood, at this point in the study we have eliminated some species and found other species that work quickly to start breaking the compounds into harmless components.
Oyster is one of the best species for this and should be included in any remediation of herbicide treatment.

Redhawk
 
Posts: 100
Location: Australia, Now zone 10a, costal, sandy, windy and temperate.
5
books chicken dog food preservation goat trees
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi I am in a chair, with the same issues. I use raised beds with wood in the base. I just used lots of logs all different shapes then filled with leaf litter then dirt, straw and compost. You need to top up about 3cm each year as the wood breaks down but now my soil is light fluffy and grows anything. Make sure you plumb in a water system.. I used a leaking water hose. ( designed to leak! Lol)  They definitely last better than a normal bed with water retention and don’t dry out so fast.
 
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!