I'll attempt to attach a photo or two of my hugel bed..it is filled with huge logs and we built a ditch first, removed the soil and sod, put in the huge logs and stumps and chunks of wood and brush and chips and then replaced the soil on top. A little problem with the top and east side drying out..west side is growing well, replanted the east side with some heat lovers like corn and peppers and squash that hopefully will work out better. Had spicey asian and italian greens but they bolted from too much heat.
There is some corn on the top, needs more water, and the squash that were on the top died. Even the tomatoes seem to have frosted but may be doing better now. Cabbages and lettuces and spinacha re doing wonderfully though.
I agree that flatter beds work out better..I have actually dug out the soil of beds, filled with wood and or chips and then replaced the soil fairly on the level and they are doing OK..but I think I would like them raised up a few inches higher and maybe narrower than what I have now..as it is hard to reach the centers of most of my beds..
My previous garden had aspen chipped mulched raiesd beds about 8" high and about 3 to 4' across with fruit trees growing in them and lots of perennials and annuals and even morels..but my son's house is in that spot now and since our housefire 12 years ago we have been trying to rebuild all of our gardens. I hope to get back to a similar set up as we had before as I don't like a lot of the things the way they are now.
one thing I do love is my soaker hose system..save me a lot of work and time
Some plants doing really well on the bed, some not doing really great (probably cause of the frosts)..her is a little snapshot of one area. There is also sweet corn coming on the top and the other side and some baby squashes starting to grow. New spinach is coming on the ends along with some cosmos..the peach trees have leaves but don't seem to be growing very well..I'll wait. The tomatoes and peppers aren't doing great, think they'll do better when the hot humid weather kicks in this weekend..for a week at least.
one way I got a lot started when I was first married was a "friendship" type garden..where I got starts and cuttings and seeds from friends..later I was happy to pass on my extra starts and cuttings and seeds to other people..
If you visit a gardener, several times a year, they probably will offer you seeds or cuttings at each visit, and in spring you might find they have extra baby plants started..they might dig you a baby plant or roots as well...we do that here for people often
a bit similar to our growing conditions but a bit cooler in the summer than here..we will reach the 90's here...but not for long. You can check out the growing list on my blog..I'm zone 4/5..in Michigan USA
i actually love j knotweed, but when we had our housefire we lost most of it..and I've tried re establishing it and it is fighting me..i have two areas where a little of it will grow, but not the huge stands we had before our housefire..wierd eh?
it is good to eat when very very very young..just the shoots.
it is also wonderful for the critters when in flower..(wonder if those flowers would make fritters?)..
Jen, I'm doing a lot of the same things here in my food forest gardens..I have a lot of baby fruit trees, some minis some dwarfs, some semi dwarfs and some full size standards..I also am growing grapes, kiwi and currants upwards..and my melons, cukes, peas, etc..up trellises or stakes..and tomatoes also.
I love the idea of permanence of the trees and vines..and so I have tried also to put in some permanent types of trellises with lattice and fencing..and am using some bamboo stakes to help things to climb upwards..so much easier than bending down
I realized after going to the link that your book is about people dealing with disabilities..which both myself and my husband are dealing with. As a matter of fact my husband is now in rehab after emergency surgery but has been dealing with a closed head injury and physical disabilities since 1985..I was born disabled and deal with neuropathy as well..plus a hip replacement..so this is right up my alley.
I built a large hugel bed last year and planted it and it is somewhat helpful ..reaching the sides is fairly easy..but the top is difficult to reach as I have to put one foot up on the side and still can barely reach the top so I put "less need to access" plants up on the top like sweet corn, cabbage and squashes..
In a past garden I had a lot of raised beds and think that that is the way I'm going to have to go..but the high hugel bed is really hard to reach the top and the sides can be a stretch, but it is making some really nice salads !!
I'd love to hear of some of your ideas for dealing with disabilities in the garden..esp difficult reaches
I think I may have an early edition of this book but can't find it right now..it was a sandy or creamy colored book, not the bright colored on in the photo so I'm not sure it is the same author, I'll keep looking but if it is the same book it is a good one..read it many times.
I just got me a 3 wheel adult trike with a basket, for errands and exercise..etc. I tried to put a rear view mirror on it but the one I bought won't fit so I'm still looking. Scarey..I live on a truck route and it is difficult to pull off the road if semi's are passing as it is not a level grade on the road apron..and I have trouble turning to look behind me cause of neck stiffness, etc. but I really want to ride safely and get stronger doing so.
No chance of anyone making bike paths out here or paving the aprons
i would also be concerned with the plastic breaking down in uv light..near our home there is a home made up entirely (walls) of glass bottles and mortar, IN FREEZING MICHIGAN, and it has been standing for well over 50 years..I remember it when I was a small child and I'm 62 this year.
i am fortunate to be able to buy "major medical" ins, but it doesn't cover drs or anything like that..when I lacerated my finger badly 2 weeks ago I was directed to an after hours clinic (as emergency room would have cost me about $2,000..) the after hours clinic ended up costing me 1/10 of what I would have paid at emergency room..and they were fast, thorough, and very nice..I suggest people that don't have insurance find an emergency or after hours clinic in their area and have the phone number and address handy..ours was open 10 to 10 7 days a week..what a blessing
find this extremely interesting and would like to know more about it..also would consider opening up an area of our land for people that are nomadic to pop in and out of when they would want a place to crash.
I planted 2 sweet chestnuts several years ago and they are barely a foot tall now, they must take forever to grow ..also at the same time planted hickory (also slow) and lots of varieites of Juglans (black, carpathian, butternut and heartnut) also slow but not AS slow as the Chestnuts and hickory..the only ones really fast were the hazelnuts and the almond (hazels are bearing but almond had some die back this past year)
i would put the raspberries away a bit as a hedge where you can mow between them as they'll take over your tree..mine are along a fenceline near my apples, but I can mow between them...as for the blueberries..they require totally different soil types..blueberries need very acidic soil..so I would separate them by at least 10 or 15 feet from anything that requires mnore alkaline soil..so if you put alkaline dressings on your trees it won't kill your blueberries..my south fenceline of my enclosed garden area has the blueberries and strawberries and a cranberry bush..so they can get the proper treatment..all together..there is yarrow and comfrey that grow quite well in this area and some horseradish at the end of the row..and a baby chestnut tree in two areas along the raspberry row and at the corner between the two.
they are great for wildlife and coppice very easily..will grow back from the stump...the reason you have so many is they spread quickly by seeds..and theya re quite nice for a quick cover of shade..but difficult to get rid of if you choose to do that..you'll have to grind out the stump..but you can do that.
we had two really close to our house (pre house fire) and did that to remove them and it wasn't that difficult.
I planted a new baby by my pond.
there is a beautiful hybrid one called flamingo..pink, white, green, like the kiwi leaves in color..gorgeous !
funny you would say that about the water table being higher here, there is a hole beside my new hugelbed, where something sunk away I guess..about the size of a baseball, and i can see water in there even on dry days, about 2" below the surface..so yup..I have a lot of water in that area.
first year for THIS bed, so I'm not sure yet. The top dried out a bit fast..the sides seem ok and the bottom edges are quite wet. The corn is up about an inch now on the top, the squash froze (3 days at 27 and 28 degrees, may come back?) ..replanting with some starts from inside..the cabbage and broccoli seem really good, the spinach is growing very well, I did my first cutting of the lettuces and spinach this week, the asian and italian spicey greens are a bit slower, more spinach just sprouting and the squashes are just sprouting that i put in as seed..the trees are leafing out and look healthy.
i need to get some mulch on it soon..but want the plants to get up just a little taller first..and the seeds to all sprout.
I just put some tomatoes, peppers, a pumpkin, a couple baby squash on it 2 days ago before a rain, they seem fine..still holding off on high praise..but things seem to be doing good
I'll try to post to other pictures that I zoomed in on from the photo above, tried 4 times yesterday but they didn't post
Here is a photo I took today. I hope the scale is easier to see. I haven't gotten mulch onto the bed yet as there are a ton of baby seeds still yet to come up. The winter squash that was on the top with the baby corn (only an inch tall now) froze as we had 3 days this weekend at 27 degrees, so it will have to be replanted.
There are baby tomatoes on both sides and some baby cabbages on one and baby broccoli and peppers on the back side (east).
There are lettuces on this side and spicey asian and italian greens on the other side...planted along the bottoms are summer squash seeds (just now sprouting) and on each end is a standard peach tree whip just put in this month, cosmos seed, spinach seed, just sprouting and there is one pumpkin and a few other things here and there.
In order to reach the top I have to put one foot up onto the bed, so there are a lot of crushed lettuces..I really hate that. I'm 5' 2 1/2 " tall..
when the peach trees grow the bed will change from an annual bed to a perennial bed..but the idea of putting currants or some other fruit bush on top is just plain silly, as I wouldn't be able to pick them !! The only berries that might work on the top woud be strawberries (which I had thought of) but they shouldn't be planted near peaches.
This photo was taken with me standing on my deck looking from between 2 of my 3 semi dwarf pear trees that are along my deck (see my blog for more photos)..you can see a branch or two.
I have gotten most of the plants and seeds started on the bed for this year..but hope to have it into perennial permanent plantings next year..or the following..just using it for annuals until I decide what I want on it permanently..and what I'll be able to reach.
when I can get someone to photograph it with a person near it I will, then we'll give you a better idea of scale..but i can barely reach the top edge now if I stand with one foot half way up the side to brace myself and reach reach reach..
ah yes your bed is much lower height than mine, much easier to reach into..I'm thinking I need to plant the top of mine with permanent things next year that only need an occasional harvesting rather than annuals that need replanting every year..I'm not sure what though..as it is dry, maybe herbs...I just don't know..but it is really hard to reach.