Hi Dale: Thank you sooooooooooooo very much for your information! Very happy that Alder is a good wood and that this wood can be used green. Since mine was cut in Early Spring, I could experience some growth, which will soon die out. Please tell me about the Chinese Elm wood? I have a massive Chinese Elm in both my front yard and my back yard. I had the Elm in front trimmed last year. As I said before, I have limbs from that cutting and will use these at the bottom. Curious ~ Are the Alder and the Elm good for fire wood? I do have a fire place and that would be good to know! Soooooooooooo back to my original question ... Is the Chinese Elm a good wood for the Hugelkultur Garden? What about Walnut or Eucalyptus logs? Are they good woods for these gardens?
Since California is a very dry climate ... I will attempt to dig down for at least 2 feet. My back yard would not accommodate big machinery .... Will need to use my own muscle!! Is my idea about using wood pallets around my block retaining wall, at least the back wall, for some vertical beds a good plan? There was at one time a 2 1/2 foot slope under the back retaining wall. My father and I hauled tons of rock from the Canyons in CA and we fashioned a rock (using cement) retaining wall of about 2 feet height to hold the soils for planting. I could attempt to dig out the soils and fill with the Chinese Elm logs and then the wood pallets would be filled with the Alder.
I will have to rethink using more cinder blocks after hearing your advice! I love ROCKS! I have some banana trees that I had gotten about 3 months ago. I was told to keep them in water until March and then plant them. I am hoping they have not died out! I was thinking to make them their own planter containers. I could dig down in my yard ... perhaps 3 feet ... Fill with last years Chinese Elm ... Then the Alder ... Shore up the sides with wood pallets or rocks ... Reverse some sod ~ Compost ~ Soils. In Simi Valley ~ We have only CLAY SOILS!! I plan on having Composting Worm Beds as well.
I should have gotten advice from your forum before jumping in to build the Hugelkultur Garden for my daughter. She wanted a waist high garden .... And the Cinder Blocks were handy for that. The blocks were reinforce with re-bar for strength. I am hoping that the blocks do not leach out chemicals into the soils of the garden? Sooooooooooooooooooooooo When I go back to Texas ... Do I need to take apart that garden to dig out the drainage rocks that we mistakenly used? Might be a good idea to do that! They do get quite a lot of rain around Dallas ~ She lives in Arlington. I do want her to have successes with growing her organic veggies! Working on her to become a Raw Vegan! lol At least getting more healthy foods instead of fast food into their young lives!! I found Composting Worms and the man was so great to build us a worm bed for them. My daughter is already using the soils that they are creating. I would imagine that adding the worms directly into the Hugelkultur Beds would be good? We also installed a Roof Rain Water Collection System with two barrels, which fill after a 30 minute rain. She is using these waters for her gardening. She gets the rain! Ours in CA is much more infrequent! lol I will try posting some pictures!
YOU LIVE in a paradise!! I grew up in the rural area near Tacoma, Washington! I grew up barefoot in the mossy covered rain forest of the Great Northwest! I love the flora in the coastal areas of Oregon, Washington and British Columbia! My fondest memories are foraging and exploring the depths of the forests ~ we followed the creeks way back into the woods ~ so we never got lost ~ we would find our way home for dinner time! lol I have created Washington in my back yard in California! Tons of Ferns, Blackberry Bushes, Hugh Varieties of Clematis, Honeysuckle, Tons of Vines! .... No Dogwood Trees though! I am missing the Dogwood Trees so much!! Happy to meet you in this forum! I have many relatives in British Columbia, Alberta and Sask! My mother gave birth to nine children in Canada before returning to her native country and meeting my father ... I was her tenth and last child!! We returned to Canada every year to keep the family together!! Lots of memories!! Lots of reunions!! Thank you again for your help!! Marjie alias Mug!