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Hugelkultur question  RSS feed

 
Posts: 11
Location: Tucson, AZ
chicken dog greening the desert
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I've just obtained some acreage with a burned to the frame double wide trailer about 30 minutes southwest of Tucson (about 40 miles from the Mexican border). There is a huge amount of trash (clothing, glass, plastic, and such) that needs to be cleaned up and some of it is milled wood. I was wondering if I could use that wood as the base of a Hugelkultur pile? Some of the wood is plywood, some is particle board, 1x6s, 2x4s and some 4x4 post and I want to make sure I don't put in some wood that wouldn't work. Could I contaminate the ground (more than it already is from the melted plastic and such from the fire) by using possibly treated lumber in the base of a pile?

The land is sloped and bisected by a dry creek bed. There are stands of mesquite towards the back of the property. I plan to clean up the mesquite and clear out the dead wood to use as Hugelkultur piles. I know I need to observe the water flow during the monsoons before I start putting in swales and such. I'm on a 5 year plan so there is no rush. I want to make sure to keep as much water on my property as possible and if anyone has any suggestions to help accomplish this I would greatly appreciate some dialog.  

22616CE0-C2C6-4532-B99B-85F42C4AD9F2.jpeg
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The back half of the property
4F191A6A-21D7-4B4F-8732-4711E28223E8.jpeg
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The burnt structure
 
pollinator
Posts: 591
Location: 6a
117
dog forest garden hugelkultur trees woodworking
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Buck Anfeldt wrote:I've just obtained some acreage with a burned to the frame double wide trailer about 30 minutes southwest of Tucson (about 40 miles from the Mexican border). There is a huge amount of trash (clothing, glass, plastic, and such) that needs to be cleaned up and some of it is milled wood. I was wondering if I could use that wood as the base of a Hugelkultur pile? Some of the wood is plywood, some is particle board, 1x6s, 2x4s and some 4x4 post and I want to make sure I don't put in some wood that wouldn't work. Could I contaminate the ground (more than it already is from the melted plastic and such from the fire) by using possibly treated lumber in the base of a pile?

The land is sloped and bisected by a dry creek bed. There are stands of mesquite towards the back of the property. I plan to clean up the mesquite and clear out the dead wood to use as Hugelkultur piles. I know I need to observe the water flow during the monsoons before I start putting in swales and such. I'm on a 5 year plan so there is no rush. I want to make sure to keep as much water on my property as possible and if anyone has any suggestions to help accomplish this I would greatly appreciate some dialog.  



If the dimensional wood is in good enough shape I would use it for hardscape. Things like compost pile bins, raised beds or as stakes, trellising, or to build some shade.    Typically you use partly rotted logs but I must admit I put just about any natural biomass I can find.     I lived in Arizona so I know water retention and shade are a big deal.  Mesquite is a nitrogen fixer so I would use any living trees as a nursery for other plants.  

 Maybe make one small hugel out of the wood and observe how it does for you.    There are all kinds of rules and they are all meant to be broken...use what you have.        If you are looking for a good biomass tree check out various acacia trees  they grow really fast, create tons of trimmings and cast good shade.    The only thing to consider is if the wood is allelopathic.  I would avoid Arizona Cedars.

P.S.  I didn't see the picks,  when I look at all of that wood in the burnt structure I'm thinking garden shed :-)



 
Buck Anfeldt
Posts: 11
Location: Tucson, AZ
chicken dog greening the desert
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Most of that wood is dry rotted and brittle. I plan to reuse what I can but there is quite a bit of plywood that is falling apart, particle board that is crumbling, etc. Could this be used as a base as long as I planted ornamentals on top? Nothing edible, just pleasing to the eye stuff.
 
Scott Foster
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Posts: 591
Location: 6a
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Buck Anfeldt wrote:Most of that wood is dry rotted and brittle. I plan to reuse what I can but there is quite a bit of plywood that is falling apart, particle board that is crumbling, etc. Could this be used as a base as long as I planted ornamentals on top? Nothing edible, just pleasing to the eye stuff.




I would give it a try.
 
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