Gardening Methods: Doable Hugelkultur

gardening methodsOne of the great things about gardening is that there are always new things to learn and try. A new plant here, a new gardening method there.

I admit that I’m a little behind the curve in my gardening adventures (well, I did live in an apartment for most of my adult life), but last year I gave straw-bale gardening a try (worked great), and this year, I’m setting up a couple of vertical pallet gardens. Combined with some raised beds and several pots, this gives me a surprising amount of gardening area for the small space that’s allocated.

The fact that I have a relatively small space in which to garden hasn’t restricted what I grow too much, but it has restricted the gardening methods I can experiment with. And one of those is hugelkultur.

But today I found someone who has not only created hugelkultur beds, but has done so in an easy, non-intimidating way. Not words I would have associated with this technique before now.

If you’re interested in the hugelkultur method, read on (and enjoy all the photos that come with this article).

Easy, DIY Hugelkultur

Hugelkultur is all the rage right now. This permaculture method of raised bed building is supposed to reduce irrigation needs and provide long term fertility to plants while giving the gardener a kind of hipster garden cred that only comes from funny foreign-sounding growing techniques.

A hugelkultur bed is built with hunks of wood as it’s base – branches, logs, tree trunks, brush, etc. can all be used, and I’ve seen variants made with wood chips, though the experts seem to favor large format wood pieces.

Now, I’m not an expert (I’m not even a novice) in permaculture techniques, but I took one look at the leading instructions for building a hugelkultur bed and thought, “It’s a lasagna bed with logs at the bottom. Got it!”

And thus was born my half-ass hugelkultur bed. It’s possible I might have stumbled into permaculture perfection, but it’s more likely I have no idea what I’m doing here. Copy my garden madness at your own risk. (Click here to read the rest of this article.)

Yes, it is a lot of work, but it’s doable and probably doesn’t take much more effort than some heavy-duty double-digging.

And think what you’ll get out of it! This is serious composting (and recycling) that should by all rights result in serious soil improvements.

Now, if I can just figure out where to work it in . . .

Have you tried hugelkultur? If so, please post a comment and let us know your experience. And if you enjoyed today’s post or learned something new, please share this post with your friends. Thanks.

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