I built a version of a Hugelkultur bed today. Basically it’s a raised bed built over rotting wood. 

There are a few supposed benefits to hugelkultur beds-

High levels of organic matter.

The rotting wood acts as a sort of sponge to increase the waterholding                 capacity of the bed.

Added slow-release nutrients. 

And as the wood slowly composts, air pockets and voids are opened up                easing root penetration and helping aerate the bed.

Most of the hugelkultur beds I’ve seen or read about, were in colder climates. The heighth of the beds keeps cold air from pooling around the plants and there is also the possibility of a bit of heat from the composting process occuring.

My main motivation for trying hugelkultur is an attempt to add long-term organic matter to my N. Central Florida sand. I’ve added TONS of organic matter over the 5 years I’ve been gardening here. Truck loads of horse stall muckings, free compost from the municipal waste management, wood shavings with liberal amounts of duck poo & tons of cold-composted oak leaves and other bits of organic matter from my gardening business have only managed to turn my fine, white beach sand into darker beach sand. The heat and humidity reduce the organic matter to nil at a pretty brisk clip. I’m hoping the hugelkultur bed will have higher levels of organic matter for a longer amount of time than adding finished compost.

Because I have sand and I don’t need the season extending benefits of a high bed I dug down into my garden bed about 14”-16”. Then I laid a layer of small oak and raintree logs. Over those I layered smaller woody waste. Azalea and citrus prunings. Dried palm fronds & shields.

Prunings from work, etc. I stomped it down as best I could then covered it with a layer of more finished compost from one of the compost piles. Stomped it down again. Added a bit of organic fert I had leftover to mitigate some of the nitrogen lock-up I expect to get for a while with all the carbon I’ve buried. And covered it with the dirt I had dug out of the bed to start with.

I’ll cover with a woody, unfinished compost I get from Wood Resource Recovery. Then I’ll overseed with annual rye for the winter and spring. The rye will help sequester any nutrients over the winter and add organic matter with it’s roots. It’s also slightly allelopathic, so it will help with weed control as well.

Do you have experience with hugelkultur? How well does this technique work in a hot,humid climate?

I built a version of a Hugelkultur bed today. Basically it’s a raised bed built over rotting wood. 

There are a few supposed benefits to hugelkultur beds-

High levels of organic matter.

The rotting wood acts as a sort of sponge to increase the waterholding                 capacity of the bed.

Added slow-release nutrients. 

And as the wood slowly composts, air pockets and voids are opened up                easing root penetration and helping aerate the bed.

Most of the hugelkultur beds I’ve seen or read about, were in colder climates. The heighth of the beds keeps cold air from pooling around the plants and there is also the possibility of a bit of heat from the composting process occuring.

My main motivation for trying hugelkultur is an attempt to add long-term organic matter to my N. Central Florida sand. I’ve added TONS of organic matter over the 5 years I’ve been gardening here. Truck loads of horse stall muckings, free compost from the municipal waste management, wood shavings with liberal amounts of duck poo & tons of cold-composted oak leaves and other bits of organic matter from my gardening business have only managed to turn my fine, white beach sand into darker beach sand. The heat and humidity reduce the organic matter to nil at a pretty brisk clip. I’m hoping the hugelkultur bed will have higher levels of organic matter for a longer amount of time than adding finished compost.

Because I have sand and I don’t need the season extending benefits of a high bed I dug down into my garden bed about 14”-16”. Then I laid a layer of small oak and raintree logs. Over those I layered smaller woody waste. Azalea and citrus prunings. Dried palm fronds & shields.

Prunings from work, etc. I stomped it down as best I could then covered it with a layer of more finished compost from one of the compost piles. Stomped it down again. Added a bit of organic fert I had leftover to mitigate some of the nitrogen lock-up I expect to get for a while with all the carbon I’ve buried. And covered it with the dirt I had dug out of the bed to start with.

I’ll cover with a woody, unfinished compost I get from Wood Resource Recovery. Then I’ll overseed with annual rye for the winter and spring. The rye will help sequester any nutrients over the winter and add organic matter with it’s roots. It’s also slightly allelopathic, so it will help with weed control as well.

Do you have experience with hugelkultur? How well does this technique work in a hot,humid climate?

Posted 3 years ago & Filed under backyard, Backyard Farming, hugelkultur, compost, garden, homesteading, 14 notes

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  1. hogtownhomesteader posted this

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Pictures, mostly of plants in my garden. Or gardens I care for, taken with my cellphone.

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