Morgan Morris

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since Aug 12, 2013
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Recent posts by Morgan Morris

I forgot to mention that the slope is about 1:7, so a nice gentle hill going down to the creek. Any thoughts?
3 years ago
I've got 13 acres in the Piedmont area of NC. Zone 8b and somewhere around 42 inches of rain per year, elevation 400', south facing slope, 5 acres of trees on the western and southern sides of the land. Toward the front of my property (north side), i have clay right at the surface that i've been covering with horse manure to add humus (while building our house, the builders scalped the ground to the subbase soil). On the south side of the house, i have deep sand with about 4-8" of humus with a lot of broom sedge and blackberries. I'm looking to get a bulldozer out here for some other work that needs to be done, but while it's here, i'm also going to install some swales that i can begin planting a food forest on. The question is--how deep and wide should those swales be, and how far spread apart? I've seen a number of different answers for one particular type of soil, but when i get these swales installed, there are going to be places where i transition from sandy to clay soil.

Also, I've worked out deals with a tree trimming service to start getting wood chips dropped off for free whenever they have a job in the area. Should i fill up my swales with wood chips, or should i mulch the trees which are planted on the backside of the swale? or both? Thanks for the help!
3 years ago
I noticed that Sepp plants a lot of trees in between his hugelkultur raised beds. Is there a reason for this? Could this negatively effect the plants growing in the hugel beds? Should there be a size limitation? Thanks for your insight!
4 years ago
I have a lot of big, mature cedar trees on my property that i'd like to make a fence out of. I understand how to split the tree in order to get roughly 4"x6" pieces of wood that are slightly triangular in shape, but i want a fence that is a fairly consistent shape and size. What is the best way to trim down those split pieces to get them looking symmetrical? Thanks in advance for your help
5 years ago
Hey, thanks for the responses! I watched some of Jack Spirko's videos and they seem pretty helpful. I had planned on the "double dig", and I'm thinking that since my land is so sandy that it shouldn't be too big of a pain to make the HS happen. would you recommend throwing in some horse manure along with the dirt/sand when i cover up the hugel bed? seems like i have access to plenty of horse manure.
5 years ago
Hey, thanks for the response! When the pigs left the ground lumpy, was it feasible to go in afterward and level out the ground with hand tools? My CFO (wife) will want me to wait a while before getting a tractor, and It'll be a couple of years before i get cows and sheep.
5 years ago
I want to plant cool-weather grass, specifically a tall/fine fescue mixture, with fall seeding being much more effective in this area. The thing is, where i plan on having a nice lawn has been overgrown weed fields with a ton of woody plants that would probably hurt if stepped on. I also plan on purchasing some pigs in the spring and would love to have them till up the lawn area and get rid of all the unwanted roots and vegetation before seeding. So which would be better, overseeding the garbage that now defines what will be my lawn this fall, or should i wait until next fall to seed grass after the pigs have done their work? If i overseed this fall, will it leave me with a nice yard to walk on next year, or do i need to completely get rid of all the woody plant stumps?
5 years ago
Someone else posted a similar question but didn't quite address what i'm wanting to find out.

Has anyone ever created swale berms out of hugelkultur beds? Obviously it would create a little more work for me up front, but i'm looking at the possibility of creating some pretty long rows of hugelkultur beds on contour with the hope that i would just never have to water the plants and trees. I live in zone 8a on the US east coast, and i currently have about 4 inches of somewhat dark sandy soil, then about sand underneath for as far as i can dig. perhaps i should be less worried about runoff and more worried about water going straight down through the sand, which is why i was looking at hugelkultur swales to do a doubly good job of retaining water. i'm already starting the process of adding legumes for nitrogen and organic material buildup, but i just got the property so everything is in its infancy. also, when planting trees on said hugelkultur berms, i assume it would be better to plant on the downhill side of the berm since there will physically be logs just under the soil in the actual berm. Am I safe in this assumption? Thanks for all the help!
5 years ago