Mike Woodhouse

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since Feb 04, 2012
Peterborough UK
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Recent posts by Mike Woodhouse

Calm down Pete! I sympathize with your sentiments but remember even if you grow your vegs in straight rows, you still reduce your carbon footprint. I forgive the rant 100%. Your only allowed one rant a month though!

O'Mike
7 years ago
Hi Jean

Your question is a very good one! It's a pretty goodnatured site. I'm expecting the odd raised eyebrow from the "veg grows in rows or not at all" brigade, but sometimes that attitude is just a result of where people are with their own learning. Even I love a nice straight row of carrots! Many people seem to vanish from their plots after September so most of the folks haven't encountered the Hugel yet! So it remains to be seen what people think (someone did ask me if I'd buried a dead horse under the bed!). As it's my first time growing on a Hugel I am very excited to see how well it will perform. I suppose some may struggle with the idea that the Hugel will take several years to reach it's full potential - But for me, slow is good.
Have you ever used one Jean?

Now....Does anyone know where I can get another dead horse from?

Cheers

O'Mike
7 years ago
Pete

My bed is under snow but will post some pics once thawed! As I'm on an allotment I didn't think my neighbours would welcome a 5ft hugelkultur casting shadow over their plot, so I dug a deep trench first (2ft or thereabouts) and filled this with old wood. This was the hardest part of construction believe me! Toby Hemenway in "Gaia's Garden" terms this a dead wood swale. Continued to build above ground so although my hugel is only 2.5 ft tall, it is actually 4 ft deep at least. Because I had to lay it running east to west, I hope this will also allow more light onto the north facing slope (Hope that makes sense).
As far as the acidity question goes, I reckon any decaying wood is going to up this so I don't think this will be a problem for the blueberry bushes. If anything, there is a risk of it romping too far into the acid range and I'm going to have to monitor this as the season progresses.
Citrus! You.re brave! I can confirm from personal experience that Japanese bitter orange is called this for a very good reason! I'm not going to tell you what to grow but there are always other options to explore. For me personally, citrus in the UK seems like high work input - low satisfaction output. Having said that, a few years ago I went to look at Geoff Hamilton's gardens at Barnsdale and remember he had both Clementines and Limes, outside, and fruiting well. He also had nectarines and peaches outside. I will have to go back and look at the siting and microclimates with new "permaculture" eyes.
Snow has stopped play here too, so I'll be back with pics of the site and Hugel once it's visible again.

Cheers O'Mike
7 years ago
Great. Thanks for all that. As my bed is in it's first planting year I'm tempted to use white clover across it to fix nitrogen and plant through this with module grown stuff (I guess it would be a good time to try a wide variety of recommendations to see what suits my hugel). Squash I've read in several places, thrive on these beds. I've got two blueberries and several currants built into the bed at time of construction.
Hognut - Excellent! I've never come across that before. Thanks for the reply and don't worry about "big finger" typos!

Cheers O'mike
7 years ago
Hi Peter

Good pics. I've also been gripped by the permaculture bug in 2011! Just like you I was keen to try a hugel so built one last Oct on my allotment. I was wondering what you were planning on growing on yours? Seen lots of suggestions but not for a UK climate

Cheers O'Mike
7 years ago