I’ve written about Hugelkultur concepts before. It’s basically taking a pile of wood and covering it with dirt. Longer term you end up with beds full of great organic materials … rich, healthy, fertile soil. The wood also soaks up water like a sponge, which helps with the whole irrigation thing.
In any case, we decided to build some new raised beds using these concepts. Mom wanted beds that were fairly high, because of her back and knees. So we built her some two foot beds.
Instead of pure wood, we built a wooden frame and used metal paneling as the retaining walls. Here’s a few pictures of them before assembly:
We took several of the wall sections and assembled them into two long beds, roughly 4 feet wide by 24 feet long. (I think … they might be 32 feet long).
Enter the Hugelkultur! If there’s one thing we have a ton of, it’s wood. So we collected piles of logs, many of them half rotten. Mostly pine and fir, with a bit of random other types of wood thrown in … whatever we could find!
We then took those logs and put in a good solid layer of logs and wood debris in the bottom of the beds. It ended up looking something like this:
Finally, we filled it in with some good topsoil from another spot on the property. We filled in the gaps as best we could, and then topped it off with some good compost. I don’t have a shot of the finished bed right now, but here’s a picture of it during the filling process.
I’m anxious to see how it pans out. It’s pretty clear we’ll have to top off the beds every year, but it should be interesting!