Hello folks. I'm new to this forum and I'm looking forward to some great conversations. My question is if there is any know size limit to an effective mound. My wife and I are developing our property as we wait for the house to be built and the section in the front is where we are starting. During the spring melt the ground holds some water. It is considered old marshland so the soil is super black but needs some material blended in to give it some body. My original plan was to do a hugelberm at the south and north end. Now I am wondering what would happen if I made the whole area in to a raised plateau but hugelkultur style. The wood would hold the moisture and the ground we are working would be up out of the main moisture zone. I don't know. It's so crazy it might just work. Anyone with some solid experience in this I welcome your perspective.
Howdy Jacob, welcome to permies! I have never tried this myself but it sounds like it might work. If you do not find anyone with experience you might just have to do it and become the expert !
About the only thing that I can think of would be to be sure and have a place for the water to flow away , just in case you get standing water. Or you could end up with Chinampas which would be cool too!
I agree with Miles that you might need to the experimenters.
I have tried hugel beds but with the wrong materials (blackberries now all over!!) as well as ones with suitable wood and green fillings such as compost. They have been very low mounds and I have had problems with decomposition - i.e. it doesn’t seem to happen. But I don’t think it is to do with the size, rather the lack of moisture when it is warm enough for decomposition.
I am not sure if you meant “make a mat of wood chips and then soil on top” literally, but you don’t want to do that. Mixing as intact as possible woody debris is great, but the increased surface area of the chips will exponentially increase the nitrogen deficit created in the initiation of decomposition. So you can save the gas and time needed to chip your wood and just cut it to fit under your available soil, ideally no more the 1/3 wood by volume.
If you just have chips, I’d use it as top mulch, ideally after its been bird bedding.
This is all just my opinion based on a flawed memory
The soil is wet all year. The soil underneath is very high in nitrogen and the soil that will be going on top also very high in nitrogen. I will not be using any gas as there is a light home builder just down the road and was overjoyed that I will take all there wood chips. They are not fine chips they are quite large. The area has awesome sun exposure all year long.
Since the soil is wet all year have you considered digging down in some areas and making wetland/ponds and then using the removed material to build up other areas? Seems like you could create a very diverse area with a lot of micro-climates that would support a wide range of different plants. You could still make the raised areas be hugel beds and just use the extra material to build them up.
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Yes I will be. On the other side of the easement is where I will be getting the soil from. We are spreading large amounts of manure there and in the fall spreading leaves the rotor till it and put it on the chip mat. The area that I am taking the soil from becomes a huge pond from the snow melt in the spring and a breeding ground from mosquitos. By making it a permanent water body it will attract larvae predators and I will also add fish thus removing a hatching area for mosquitos.
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