Well It's been a year since I made my gigantic hugel in the desert. The soil has been blown down and settled nicely. It's only about 5 feet tall now.
I and my spade have made attempts to route water from the roof to the hugel and let it work like a sponge. I don't think it has worked yet. I had some plants growing on there during and after the monsoon season. I transplanted 3 trees around it. 1 may make it. 2 other are dead.
To be completely honest, Once I had everything set up for it to work except for installing a sprinkler system on the thing, I gave up on it. I let my kids go to town using it as a hill to climb and jump off and play with. They love it. (multipurpose use?)
Plans for the future include:
1. letting it sit and rot more.
2. keep watering it with whatever it soaks up from roof runoff.
3. throwing all leftover seed on it. (who knows, it may surprise me and actually grow something.
4. keep it around even though my wife hates it. (I still hope it will bring some agricultural goodness.)