Below are three photos from the start of my hugel project.
First photo on dayone. I had a bunch of stumps and trees from last fall. Mostly ash destroyed by the emerald ash borer, but also some maple and locust.
I tried to burn the pile twice this spring, but having failed boy scouts the pile was still there. Leaves burnt up fast the second time, and I learned I can still move pretty quick for a 40 something.
Second photo is the base construction. I started with the stumps. Here I learned wherever the 900 lb stump lands it stays.
Third photo is the end of day one. about 4 hours into the project.
First photo I tided up the pile with a chainsaw. Also filled voids with smaller logs. Throwing logs in the bucket of the tractor is fun for the first half hour. After that it's more like work, I'd use poplar if you can.
Second photo is moving the bulk of the material
Third photo end of day two. It helps if you have a little tractor. At about this stage 3 pairs of robins found this construction irresistable, flying in and out. I'm guessing they thought it was the biggest birds nest ever.
I had an older pile of stumps/dirst so I considered this prehugeled and pushed onto the end of the pile
A photo of the soils on.
A photo of the hugelkulture.
I read 7 feet was better than 6 feet high, so i figured 9 feet is better than 7 feet.
Not that I follow instructions that well. like when the dishwasher is out for the third time and the mrs says should I call the plumber? Why would I pay the plumber 90 bucks an hour to read the instructions I usually grumble as i start to open the instructions... Doesn't explain why the neighbors dog howls when the garbage disposal is turned on though. Anyway forgive any errors you see in the construction of the hugel.
I am looking for suggestions for planting in the spring.
Dude. Wow. If you made it any bigger you'd have to terrace it. I'm thinking you might have problems managing anything on top of it without compacting the soil.
That said, why wait till spring? Come August, you could be planting peas, carrots/onions/garlic (not near the peas, and those mature next spring), lettuce, cruciferous vegetables (cabbage, kale, brussels sprouts, broccoli etc), and/or winter squash.
I was hoping for some rains to settle in the soil, but we've entered a drought here in Northern Illinois. Ironic as one of the reasons this project caught my eye was the claim that after the first year you never have to irrigate.
Thanks for the link as well, I'll plant a portion of it this August weather permitting.
Oh, one other thing. The nice thing about fall plantings is that most of them are also spring plantings. Lettuce may self seed and come back in the spring, and crucifers are known for growing back from root quite often (especially kale and celery) so you may not have to plant much in the spring.
Make that two other things. If you like strawberries, you might want some of these! Those really are better spring planted though .
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