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I think the common answer is that you don't want to use wood chips except in rather small amounts.  
 
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Terry Austin wrote:Sorry if this has been covered previously.
In hugekultur does the wood/logs need to be whole or can they be wood chips?
The reason I as is several companies in the area offer to give wood chips free a d will deliver them free if they Re in the srea.
Any ideas and feedback appreciated.


Per Paul's talks, wood chips are not to be used in hugelkultur beds. The primary reasons, if I recall, are as follows:
-Increased wood surface area results in increased available carbon, which binds nitrogen and hinders growies.
-Beds don't last nearly as long as whole logs.
-Whole logs provide lasting structure and diversity.
-By importing wood matter from unknown origin via commercial sources, you may unwittingly introduce persistent herbicides to your system.
 
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Approved BB submission
For a more detailed account of my adventures in building this Hügelkultur, see My first Hügelkultur adventure for PEP [Log].

To document completion of the BB, I have provided the following:
 - Two pics of the site before the work is started with the intended location marked out.
       o probably marked with wood laid on the ground that will soon be buried!



 - Three pics of three different stages of construction - showing the contents of the hugelkultur




 - One pic when the hugelkultur is completely built but not planted or mulched showing it is 7 feet tall (1x3 board is 7 ft long in photo)


 - Pics of all the stuff about to be planted











 - A paragraph or two of what wood was used and where it came from, what was planted, what mulches were applied and anything else interesting

This Hügelkultur project meets the requirements for the Sand, Straw, and Wood badges combined (6 ft + 12 ft + 24 ft = 42 ft) at over 50 ft long by over 10 ft wide by at least 7 ft high - not counting the food I dug down on each side to help stabilize the outermost bottom logs. I used mostly wind blown Big Leaf Maple and Red Alder logs that were already partially rotten from laying on the ground nearby for a few years. Some birch got added as well. The soil came from three nearby mounds formed a few years ago when I scraped up areas taken over by blackberries and then let the mounds decompose.  I applied at least 4 kinds of mulch including stemmy hay, hardwood sawmill shavings, Big Leaf Maple leaves, pea husks, skunk cabbage leaves, and lawn clippings for mulch.  I planted at least a dozen different species, mostly nitrogen fixers, including:
1) several apple cores
2) 12 sunchokes (3 for the Sand badge)
3) 12 comfrey (3 for the Sand badge)
4) Buttercup squash
5) October beans
6) garlic
7) shallots
8) cilantro
9) Delicata squash
10) black corn
11) date pits
12) Sepp grains (12 for the Sand badge)
13) Lummi Island Wildflower Mix  (Common Camas, Yarrow, Many-leaved Lupine, Fireweed, Woolly Sunflower, Pearly Everlasting, Douglas Aster)
14) White beans
15) Golden Bantam sweet corn
16) Vanessa Dwarf Blue Curled Kale
17) Bush Blue Lake garden bean
18) Zinnia
19) Viva la Dulce Vita Blend Basil
20) Easy Peasy Pea
21) Connecticut Field Pumpkin
22) Fingerling potatoes
23) Regular potatoes
24) Nettle
25) Snow berry
26) Salmon berry
27) Elderberry
28) Foxglove
29) Willow
30) 11 more apples
31) Crimson clover
32) Medium Red clover

 - Two pics of the site after the work is complete from the same two locations as the beginning pictures.
       o include some people or something in the pics so we can gauge that the size is probably correct



Two different neighbors have already asked 'what are you doing over there?'
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Barkley approved this submission.
Note: Full spped ahead for the other 2 badges. Congrats on this one. Feels good eh?

 
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What are the Sepp Holzer grains?
I clicked on linked 'Sepp Holzer' and don't see a list... Maybe just too many SKIP tabs open trying to work this all out...
 
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Tara Martinn wrote:What are the Sepp Holzer grains?
I clicked on linked 'Sepp Holzer' and don't see a list... Maybe just too many SKIP tabs open trying to work this all out...



From what I've found, it's a russian rye Sepp got decades ago and has landraced on his property to get the best growing-in-poor-soil variety. https://prairiegardenseeds.ca/products/sepp-holzer-s-rye sells "Rye - Sepp Holzer's" for $4+s/h for 5g of seed which should be a few hundred seeds. I'm going to give that a try in case I get a chance to build a hugel during the PTJ this year.
 
Mike Haasl
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If you come to the PTJ there are Sepp grains provided for you to use on your hugels.  Along with all the other seed/tuber requirements.
 
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Approved BB submission
hugel time! Also at PTJ near the backside of the abbey

To complete this BB, the minimum requirements are:
 - 7 feet tall, 7 feet wide, 6 feet long
 - mulch it with at least 4 different kinds of mulch
 - seed/plant at least a dozen different species
 - mostly nitrogen fixers (>75% by volume)
 - at least three comfrey plants
 - at least three sunchokes
 - at least a dozen sepp holzer grains (currently available as a prize for anyone who reaches BB20)

To document your completion of the BB, provide the following:
 - Two pics of the site before the work is started with the intended location marked out- my plot is the purple square, 6 ft by 6 ft and this is the view from the right


the view from the left

 
 - Three pics of three different stages of construction - showing the contents of the hugelkultur-
1.me in the excavator about to dump load 1 on top of 1st layer of wood
2. 2nd layer of wood
3. 3rd  layer of wood


 - One pic when the hugelkultur is completely built but not planted or mulched showing it is 7 feet tall and 6 feet long
here is the width photos showing about 7 feet wide:


hugel on a slope: height from the right side: 9.5 feet


hugel from left side about 4.5 feet- averaged to 7 feet!!!


 - Pics of all the stuff about to be planted: comfrey and sunchokes


the seedies!



 - A paragraph or two of what wood was used and where it came from, what was planted, what mulches were applied and anything else interesting:
I did this project up on wheaton labratories so the wood used was some form of conifer laying around the lab. I did what I would call the great scrounge, and picked peices that seemed like a good length for hauling over to my hugel. Luckily there was a large pile of confiers all chopped up near the hugel site. As you can see, for planting I used the comfrey and sunchokes. I used over 14 varieties from the seedbank at the lab including:  sepp holzer grains (atleast 20), white dutch clover, crimson clover, alsike clover, abbey buckwheat, mustard, ladak alfalfa, austrian winter pea mix, rose clover, red cowpea, winter rye, hairy vetch, and tomato mix. I learned from Thomas Elpel this week that clovers are in the pea family and the pea family are all nitrogen fixers.


For mulching I used hay, milk thistle/prickly lettuce, pine needles, and lambs quarters: see below!


 - Two pics of the site after the work is complete from the same two locations as the beginning pictures.
view from the right of my 6 foot section in the gigantic hugel co-op


veiw from the left AKA mulchey mulchey
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Barkley approved this submission.

 
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Approved BB submission
Built my first proper hugelkultur. Average of front and back height was 7ft because it was built on a slope. Average length was 8ft because it was curved.

Wood was mostly pine, larch and fir because that’s what was available.

Planted the following:

Walking onion
Sepp holzer grain
Buckwheat
White Dutch clover
Alfalfa
Austrian winter peas
Common vetch
Alsike clover
Rose clover
Mullein
Tillage radishes
Red cowpeas
Mustard
Black beans
Ladak alfalfa
Braco white mustard
3x sunchokes
Field peas
Hairy vetch
Oats
Penny cress
4x Comfrey root

Mulched with pine, larch, fir, bark, straw, alfalfa, vetch, clover, grasses, St. John’s wort and other biomass that was in the environment.
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Over 8ft tall in front
Over 8ft tall in front
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5ft in front
5ft in front
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11ft in back
11ft in back
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~6ft tall in the rear
~6ft tall in the rear
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Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Barkley approved this submission.
Note: What is with the upside down pix lately?

 
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Approved BB submission
Here is my BB submission for the Hugelkultur.

I attended the PTJ at Wheaton Labs and we built a sun scoop hugel behind the Allerton Abbey both for bbs and because more garden space was wanted.

We used the excavator. In the photos the long white sticks are marked out for the 6' x 7' rectangles for our requirement!

Josiah and Mike oversaw the process and were pleased with the outcome!


Seeds planted were all from the Wheaton labs stash and each a small handful (more than 15) of:

Sepp grain
Peas
Rose Clover
White Dutch Clover
Crimson Clover
Rhubarb
Alfalfa
Mustard
Black Beans
Buckwheat
Ladak Alfalfa
Cowpeas
3 Sunchokes
Tomato Mix
4 Comfrey roots

The wood is all from Conifers both green and dry - Pine, ceader, fir etc.
It was mulched with hay, alfalfa, pine needles, Lambs Quarters, Wild Mustard, Prickly Lettuce, Peas, and yarrow. (likely more than that, But I don't remember the names of the other plants)

IMG_4547.jpg
Angle 1 before
Angle 1 before
IMG_4548.jpg
Angle 2 before
Angle 2 before
IMG_4558.jpg
Layer 1 of wood
Layer 1 of wood
IMG_4575.jpg
Layer 1 of dirt
Layer 1 of dirt
IMG_4585.jpg
Layer 3 of dirt and logs
Layer 3 of dirt and logs
IMG_4621.jpg
Height is 7 ft
Height is 7 ft
IMG_4624.jpg
on both sides
on both sides
IMG_4642.jpg
6 ft long (photo taken after mulching
6 ft long (photo taken after mulching
IMG_4636.jpg
Seeds about to be planted
Seeds about to be planted
IMG_4638.jpg
plants I cleared for mulch
plants I cleared for mulch
IMG_4639.jpg
Chop!
Chop!
IMG_4640.jpg
Angle 1 After Mulching
Angle 1 After Mulching
IMG_4641.jpg
Angle 2 After mulching
Angle 2 After mulching
Staff note (gir bot) :

Mike Barkley approved this submission.

 
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