Monday, April 9, 2012

the hugulkultur experiment-part 2

With the success of the hot tub hugulkultur bed we decided to try it out in a normal garden bed. For this experiment, we are using use an already established bed (of weeds) that we double dug when the manthing was laid off and we were on a bed building spree. This bed has not successfully grown anything (except weeds) since we dug it and began throwing amendments on it. It was also convenient because we had some piles of brush nearby, making our job (manthing's job) much easier.

The basic principle of hugulkultur is digging out a hole or spot and then filling it back up with things n stuff that will break down over time into a nice soil while having the benefits of water retention and a raised garden area. Our main reason for doing this is building healthier soil, since we try to maintain a closed homestead and purchase no outside fertilizers, soils, mulches, etc. We get over 70 inches of precipitation a year, so, water retention is not too big of a deal for us most of the time.
The process is pretty easy although it is a good work out if you don't have a mechanized earth moving contraption and live in mountainous terrain. This bed is about 14x5 and was a 2 (half day) job for one person. A young, in shape, person could probably do one in a day and live to tell of the experience. Us older folks have learned not to beat ourselves up when time is not of the essence so we tend to take things a little bit easier when we can.

Our observations thus far...

The dirt that comes out of the hole is very likely not going to be enough to cover it back up, especially if you mound it like most reference sites suggest. Be prepared to have extra dirt somewhere nearby that is accessible and easy to get to the new location.

It is a great way to use downed trees and/or brush and limbs from cutting firewood. But,it takes a whole lotta material to fill that big hole back up. Have plenty (more than you could ever imagine) of filler nearby or in a place that is easily accessible. For those that heat and/or cook with wood or live in an area where wood is sparse, this could be an issue and should be weighed before you decide to do digging massive holes in your lawn.

1 comment:

  1. Just thought I would introduce myself, just found your blog and already I am learning something new. Hope you don't mind me hanging around for a while. Greetings from Australia