Imagine how much time, energy and money can be saved by just imitating nature. That's basically what you're doing with Hügelkultur, and the benefits are endless. Sound too good to be true? There must be a catch, right? Well, there is. Kind of. The trick to all this is one of time. Hügelkultur takes time and in our fast-paced, go-go-go society, it may not seem as appealing as other “faster-acting” solutions out there. For example, most people don’t want to wait the 1 or 2 years it takes for the wood to start breaking down. One could argue that it’s much easier and more effective to just buy manure or chemical fertilizers but of course that’s not as practical, nor renewable and it goes against some of the core principles of permaculture, of which Hügelkultur is a big part. After all, people have known about Hügelkultur and have used its proven concepts for thousands of years, so why can’t we?
But don't let Hügelkultur's old school simplicity fool you. There are many different uses for it in modern gardening and even a lot of large-scale farming applications. The bottom line is Hügelkultur is cheaper, more effective and more practical than industrial farming. And the best part is, it's completely renewable! It also stacks functions. Not only are you wicking water, feeding plants and providing habitat, but you also end up building high quality soil over time - a lot of it! And the worms just love the stuff Hügelkultur mounds are made of, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone involved. Whether it’s the worm, the farmer, the fungus or the microbe, they all contribute to the process and are rewarded accordingly.
So if Hügelkultur is really that great, why isn't everyone doing it? That's a good question and a little Google research will lead you down the path of enlightenment in that area. The important thing to retain here is that anyone can do this. It's as simple as piling up wood, leaves and dirt much in the same way Mother Nature has been doing for eons.
For more information on Hügelkultur, check out videos made by Sepp Holzer, as well as many, many other YouTubers. Remember that Hügelkultur is not some closely-guarded, super-secret gardening technique. It’s a German word that simply means "mound culture". If done correctly, those mounds should contain the stored nutrients and water wicking/retention properties to care of your plants and trees for a great many years.
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