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Strawberry Pyramid Hugelkultur

 
pollinator
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This Hugelbed design is for strawberry growing. To get a jump-start, I filled the top with purchased soil (on cardboard, not pictured.) The objective is to let the strawberry runners from year one cascade down into the next tier for next years berries and so on.

I used copper treated timber after a lot of reading to make sure that would be safe. The layers on the bottom tiers are logs>twigs>chicken poop>grass>wood chips>compost>grass>wood chips. The only issue so far is the standard one with container plants: the top tier of soil dries out rather quickly (that top layer stood alone for a couple months, so hopefully it stays more moist now that the rest is filled.)

I had hoped to get this done sooner in the year so there would be enough decomposition into soil in tier two so the runners would have a home…. but that didn’t happen. Some of the berry crowns didn’t survive so I guess this year I’ll just let the runners fill in the blank spots on the top tier.
Hugel1.jpg
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Hugel2.jpg
[Thumbnail for Hugel2.jpg]
Hugle3.jpg
[Thumbnail for Hugle3.jpg]
 
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I think that looks great!  I too use treated wood in my raised beds, once I evaluated what the actual risks and odds were.
 
pollinator
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Good looking project Matt. No matter what you do your growing medium will settle. Give it some time and see how much more you need to add before planting. It’s a common mistake and one I’ve made as well.
 
pollinator
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Location: Vermont, USA
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I love this idea!  Brilliant!  I need a place for my runners (heading out to the lawn as we speak), and I need more strawberries.  What a great idea.

Now, where to put it. . .
 
Matt Todd
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Scott Stiller wrote:Good looking project Matt. No matter what you do your growing medium will settle. Give it some time and see how much more you need to add before planting. It’s a common mistake and one I’ve made as well.



You bet! I heaped it on and fully expect it to heavily settle by the time I can plant in it. After piling 4 feet of leaves/grass/chicken manure in a cage and watching it break down to 4 inches of compost, I've learned the more material the merrier!
 
Scott Stiller
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You’re smarter than me Matt. I get so stoked to plant stuff I go for it full speed!😂
 
Matt Todd
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Scott Stiller wrote:You’re smarter than me Matt. I get so stoked to plant stuff I go for it full speed!😂



Wellllllllll, I did plant all my perennial trees and shrubs in the ground before truly building the soil up. Granted, I amended the individual planting holes and some things are happy. But my honey berries and some fruit trees are not happy at all. So I too am gung-ho on planting with mixed results.  These Hugel projects really make you slow down and wait!
 
Scott Stiller
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I used to be the plant guy at a big box store and learned a few thing too. I was talking with a master gardener who told me about amending the soil after planting. NC clay is not very inviting to many plants and some don’t live very long. She told me to dump mushroom compost around the trees and scratch it in without damaging any surface roots, then water. Well mushroom compost is four bucks a bag and I’m not doing it! Instead I mowed up leaves and grass clippings in the fall, mixed with wood chips and piled around the trees. I had fruit trees that were resurrected from doing this. There’s something about it that earthworms go nuts for!
 
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