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Building Soil with Small-Scale Hugelkultur Beds

| 3/3/2019 7:08:00 AM

Panoramic Organic Garden In Mountains 

For those of you who are unfamiliar with the practice of Hugelkultur, let me start by telling you it can be a lot of work! Don’t get me wrong, the results are spectacularly rewarding, especially with patience. The actual method of Hugelkultur mounds involves digging a trench or pit, and putting rotting logs in it. The logs are then covered with the soil excavated from the pit, and sometimes compost and then are left to rot.

The concept is that, after the logs have degraded, they make excellent soil: Picture a forest floor here, this is how soils are created. In the meantime, before the logs are completely rotted, they act as sponges, wicking up water that penetrates the soil, reducing the need for watering and fertilizing at the same time.

Hugelkultur Technique at the Garden Scale

Hugekultur Gardening In Backyard 

If digging a large trench and rolling logs in it seems beyond your capabilities without heavy machinery, fear not. We have implemented this concept on a smaller scale in our own garden and nursery production space with great results.

The process is basically the same; mimicking the powers of nature to create soil through layering, but the mediums are a bit different. What we’ve found works the best are materials that are usually pretty available to most folks, but these can be altered or substituted for whatever you’ve got on hand — this isn’t an exact recipe or science!

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