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Tall hugels in the PNW? Anyone from the area doing it?

 
Liv Smith
pollinator
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Location: Portland, OR
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Anyone in the Pacific NW doing permaculture and have built tall hugelkultur beds, like the ones Sepp recommends, and Paul builds on his place wanna share their experience?


I would like to hear how you did it, and how you maintained them.

Water/no water in the first few years, mulch, what kind, any other tips that would help for this specific climate.

Thank you☺️
 
Mike Barkley
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Posts: 1959
Location: mountains of Tennessee
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Here's my tall hugel. It's not in the PNW. We get reasonable rains here so it normally doesn't seem to need extra water. Although I did flood it when it was first built & again early this spring. I haven't done much to maintain it other than toss a few shovelfuls of manure & soil on it after last winter. It gets mulched on any bare spots. I built it according to the minimum footprint required for PEP but that was tricky. Very steep sides but they are still holding up quite well & growing a lot of food. Next time I'll ignore the minimum footprint & just keep piling the material up until it reaches the desired height.

 
Eliot Mason
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We've got two smallish hugels.  One was made in a hurry, the other was an act of desperation to do something permies.  The hurry one is about 4' tall and has done very well - no water added and the perennial kale, artichokes and ... plants (I'm not the plant person around here...) have done very well.  Sunflowers on the top were taller and larger (heads) than ones in the watered garden.

So yeah, it works.

Embarking on a project to pondify the place and use the excavated dirt to make some big hugels.  Not sure if they'll be big enough for Paul, but they should be big enough for our needs.
 
s. lowe
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Some friends built a large 5ish foot one several years ago. It is remarkable how fast it has shrunk. It is now probably less than 2  feet above grade. I would guess that you would need to use large  whole logs to get any staying power as our damp forest soil has lots of active wood eating microbes.

I know that they irrigated a good bit, similar to a regular heavily mulched garden, the first summer. I'm not positive about everything since then but I know this year they only watered in things they transplanted after the rains ended
 
Julia Winter
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We are building a big tall hugel at the farm!  See here: https://permies.com/t/146711/Building-hugel-Pond
 
James Landreth
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Mine shrunk quite rapidly as well too. The mild temperatures and moisture speed up breakdown around here. A three or four foot bed shrunk to six inches in three years
 
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