Hugelkultur - Saving on Soil and Water
Hugulkultur - saving on soil and watering
Hugulkultur is an ancient bed-building method. Usually pronounced “hoo-gull culture,” this technique’s name comes from the German word meaning “mound culture.” It is also a good way to save money on the soil in a raised bed. Just fill the bottom part of your raised beds with large wood chunks like logs. Over time the wood will rot and release nutrients. As it rots, it also becomes very spongy and will act as a moisture reservoir for the soil around it. Eventually it turns into soil.
Here is a good reference on the subject: http://www.craftsy.com/blog/2015/04/hugelkultur/
Pictures from Mootopia of Hugulkulture Crop Circles
When we installed our garden beds, we simultaneously cleaned up our brush pile. Below you can see a Crop Circle raised bed garden set up with a bunch of wood scrap in the bottom half. All that wood will break down over time releasing nutrients and acting like a sponge to help hold moisture. The plants still get to enjoy a good foot of soil to grow into, too.
And here is a view of the same garden bed from the other side after we topped it off with good, rich compost. We had to buy the compost delivered by a local excavating company. The same company helped us install the soil with their skidsteer loader.
And at the peak of the season, this garden bed looked like this with amazingly lush broccoli and cabbage. So far so good. Can't wait to see how next season goes.