Hugelkultur, pronounced hugle (like bugle but with a “h”) culture, it’s really simple, combining raised beds with lots of organic material under and on top of the mound. You take wood logs and twigs, preferably older ones but fresher ones can be used, cut them to the length of the bed you want to create, lay them in a pile then put dirt on top of them, you will be planting in this dirt. The idea is the wood logs decompose and hold lots of water, meaning you don’t have to water as often. It’s a win win situation. Some even work swales into the hugelkultur beds to help capture water that would otherwise run off too quickly.
I know it’s the end of the summer gardens for most of us, but this is the perfect time to begin planning and building our gardens for next summer. I still want to make a keyhole garden, I might incorporate some of the hugelkultur into a keyhole garden by using decaying wood logs and twigs that we have an abundance of around here, putting it in the base of the keyhole garden. Also working with the rocks and wood when the temps are cooler will be safer (for me) from snakes, scorpions and other creepy crawlies that sting and bite.
Here are a couple of videos about hugelkultur gardening.
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