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Ever hear of HUGELKULTURE?

Monday, January 07, 2013

Me neither.
But I got to see it being done first hand recently.

It's a german word and you say it "hoogle culture". It is basically raised garden beds filled with rotten wood. This makes for raised garden beds loaded with organic material, nutrients, air pockets for the roots of what you plant, etc. As the years pass, the deep soil of your raised garden bed becomes incredibly rich and loaded with soil life. As the wood shrinks, it makes more tiny air pockets - so your hugelkultur becomes sort of self tilling. The first few years, the composting process will slightly warm your soil giving you a slightly longer growing season. The woody matter helps to keep nutrient excess from passing into the ground water - and then refeeding that to your garden plants later. Plus, by holding SO much water, hugelkultur could be part of a system for growing garden crops in the desert with no irrigation.

So here is our local hugelkulture done in our Botanical Gardens.
The beginning of the preparation.

This is called the nude

The naked stage....I didnt make these names how they are referred to at their various stages of development.

Setting up the logs.

Covering them with manure and straw.

Closer look at what it looks like.

In drawn form, this is what it should look like over time.

After 1 year.

After 2 years.

After 20 years.

Once the raised garden bed is built, you don't ever till it. As the wood breaks down inside the bed, it will sorta-kinda till its insides itself. And with a really tall, really steep raised garden bed, nobody will step on it, so the soil will not become compacted.

I think its a most incredible way of disposing with yard scraps and a type of recycling in a beautiful way.

Taking some "nothing" and making a healthy working "something" is fantastic.

I'm going to take my body and do some hugelkulture on it. Fill it with healthy things that will decompose the fat and make me into something healthy and more attractive than it currently is.

I wish I had known of this before I spent so much money on a container to throw my garden refuse away. Oh well....lessons get learned at different stages of life.

Member Comments About This Blog Post:
ANDEEWI 1/14/2013 12:18PM

    I know I am just repeating everyone, but --- HOW VERY INTERESTING! I have never heard of this before and yet it makes total sense!

I wonder, now --- being now limited to only container gardening... could you gather smaller pieces of natural woods to set in the bottom of a container and then add on the layers and grow organic veggies this way? (the things that make my brain buzz)

Oh and loved the body/weight loss analogy with this too! :)

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DEBBIEANNE1124 1/8/2013 12:11AM

    Very, very interesting.

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RAINBOWMF 1/8/2013 12:10AM

    emoticon what a wonderful idea,

Thanks for sharing


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ONLYTEMPORARY 1/7/2013 10:26PM


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  I love this! Thanks Celeste'! HUGS

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BECKYSFRIEND 1/7/2013 8:28PM

    very interesting emoticon

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TRAILWALKERJO54 1/7/2013 7:14PM

    wow how interesting --I have never heard of this before .. what you learn here on sparks from our fellow sparkers
thanks Celest

now how tall is it though---how would you get the stuff at the top of the hill if you can not step on it?? am I missing something ..I do like the concept for sure --it makes sense..

lol let us know how you make out with the body HUGELKULTURE

love it..

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WALLAHALLA 1/7/2013 12:52PM

    fascinating...are you going to try it?

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BOOKWERME 1/7/2013 9:40AM

    How very interesting. Nice way to build up a natural raised barrier, though I don't guess that first year or so is very attractive or is there a layer of topsoil it appears in the diagram. I have to say, you have the most interesting blog subjects!!! Thanks for sharing. emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/7/2013 9:41:33 AM

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DAPRDON15 1/7/2013 9:23AM

    Thanks Celeste' This was way cool! Might incorporate this in my own yard. emoticon emoticon

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NUTRON3 1/7/2013 9:20AM

    Very interesting

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HAPPY_FAUNA 1/7/2013 8:50AM

    Never heard of it, but it sounds and looks super interesting. Thanks for sharing. :) And great analogy!


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