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Old July 22, 2017   #1
IdahoTee's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Zone 4 Idaho
Posts: 17
Default My First Hugelkultur Mound

With the opportunity to use some aspen trees I dropped last year and sawed into logs, I gave this season a go with a Hugelkultur mound.

What I enjoy most about the idea of a Hugel is that after much searching, reading and planning, it became clear that these grow mounds have a ton of flexibility in design and creation. So armed with a medley of logs, branches, twigs, semi aged compost, manure, leaves, kitchen waste and random other ingredients, I went to work this April. 3 months later I have to say I am stunned how well it is growing plants.

Because the soil in my yard is river bed with a skin of top soil, I decided to go up with the mound instead of a pit style Hugelkultur. It was more work keeping it mounded and not sloughing off the sides, but so far the results have been beyond my expectations.

Here were the steps I took:
  1. Dug a trench and removed the sod
  2. Raked the bed and removed exposed rocks
  3. Laid down logs - watered (props to my daughter for the artful log design)
  4. covered in leaf litter - watered
  5. spread gooey kitchen scraps saved all winter - watered
  6. added top soil removed from bed
  7. spread chicken manure (with bonus maggots!)
  8. top soil - watered
  9. laid aspen and willow branches
  10. partly composted leaves and grass
  11. added the removed sod (dirt side up) - watered
  12. leaf litter
  13. small branches/sticks - watered
  14. topped with nearly finished compost
  15. spread soil/manure mix over top
  16. finished with some bagged potting soil I had laying around from previous year

I took the cue from PaddyMC and planted three winter squash after threat of frost had passed and added some meadow mix flower seeds, a few sunflower seeds and let it rip. Oddly, I have three tomato plants, several random sqaush (assuming pumpkin but not sure) and even two potato plants pop up. I can assume this was from the kitchen scraps that were added, but not really sure. I will let them be and see what happens.

Here is a progress photo from today...

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