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Old 01-09-2018, 08:20 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon (in Transition)
858 posts, read 419,164 times
Reputation: 1389

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Hello all!

I have watched a couple of videos about hugelkultur on Youtube. I wanted to know other peoples' experiences with it. I live in a Zone 4 climate zone and am unsure how well it would work up here in Duluth. Does anyone have any general recommendations as well?

Cheers!
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Old 01-10-2018, 12:11 PM
 
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
2,769 posts, read 1,032,933 times
Reputation: 5940
Quote:
Originally Posted by cornsnicker3 View Post
Hello all!

I have watched a couple of videos about hugelkultur on Youtube. I wanted to know other peoples' experiences with it. I live in a Zone 4 climate zone and am unsure how well it would work up here in Duluth. Does anyone have any general recommendations as well?

Cheers!
Raised beds are the preferred method to improve growing conditions for the obsessive-compulsive.
Hugelkultur does the same for those of us with a more relaxed outlook on life

When your garden area has poor &/or shallow soil, you need to build it up with trucked in soil &/or soil amendments. Hugelkulture (hugel = hill in German) is a way to pile up organic matter, often including whole logs, and letting it turn to rich soil by natural decomposition.

Your question is a good one: can you build soil by natural decomposition in a cooler climate?

I'm not sure, but then I don't think it maters-- I think you're better off just building soil by using horse manure and composting kitchen scraps.

Horse manure can usually be got for free for the asking at your local commercial stable. It's practically mature soil by the time you carry it off-- it only takes a couple weeks of self-composting to achieve this. I find it tests out very well in terms of N-P-K levels, and is the perfect texture to maintain the right water/air content for plant growth.

I use old horse manure for indoor seed starts each Feb, and till a bunch into the garden plot each spring.
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Old 01-10-2018, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon (in Transition)
858 posts, read 419,164 times
Reputation: 1389
Quote:
Originally Posted by guidoLaMoto View Post
Raised beds are the preferred method to improve growing conditions for the obsessive-compulsive.
Hugelkultur does the same for those of us with a more relaxed outlook on life

When your garden area has poor &/or shallow soil, you need to build it up with trucked in soil &/or soil amendments. Hugelkulture (hugel = hill in German) is a way to pile up organic matter, often including whole logs, and letting it turn to rich soil by natural decomposition.

Your question is a good one: can you build soil by natural decomposition in a cooler climate?

I'm not sure, but then I don't think it maters-- I think you're better off just building soil by using horse manure and composting kitchen scraps.

Horse manure can usually be got for free for the asking at your local commercial stable. It's practically mature soil by the time you carry it off-- it only takes a couple weeks of self-composting to achieve this. I find it tests out very well in terms of N-P-K levels, and is the perfect texture to maintain the right water/air content for plant growth.

I use old horse manure for indoor seed starts each Feb, and till a bunch into the garden plot each spring.
I appreciate your reply.

I will do some more research of horse manure in my area.

Cheers!
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Old 02-08-2018, 11:38 AM
 
Location: Floyd Co, VA
3,413 posts, read 5,105,046 times
Reputation: 7213
Spend a bit of time learning about building soil health - it is the first, critical step. Lots of YT videos, some short, some rather long if you've got the patience to explore the subject in depth.

Here's one that is chock full of info:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nIIlm7iRjcw

I also like many of the videos by I Am Organic Gardening.

Hugelkultur is a great way for long term soil health building.
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Old 02-19-2018, 11:20 PM
 
Location: central Indiana
220 posts, read 386,432 times
Reputation: 162
I have built hugelbeds in central Indiana. Of course, I have an abundance of old deadfall to work with, some of which is growing moss and/or fungi. That horse manure is well worth looking for, if you can find it. Used bedding (straw contaminated with manure/urine) is also a wonderful component to layer up with your logs.

My purpose is making hugel beds isn't to enrich the soil so much as to absorb moisture year-round, reducing the need for irrigation. Additionally, raising the soil level has been a blessing to my aging knees.
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