Built a hugelkultur today near Alerton Abby. I also learned to use a chainsaw and drive an excavator! :) You sure learn a lot within 2 hours of starting your first day!
Okay so I didn't do a great job of getting photos on my phone so I may need to supplement with others photos and video (I will follow-up with a link when it is posted). I have to upload them at attachments so I'll try to break down the photos briefly before.
- The bare site
- Me close to the site with the excavator
- The original pile of wood to mark out the area
- The first layer of dirt
- Back of the pile
- Sunchoke with mulch
- Comfry with mulch
- Different types of mulch
- Me next to the Hugel!
The wood that was used was left over from work being done on Alteron Abby. It was in different states of decomposition already. I had to use the chain saw to buck it up small enough usually. Bark was salvaged from around the site and from the garage. Woo chips where left over from a pile for Chateaux De Poo.
So I created the base layer of wood. I then gathered dirt from either side of the pile to create a trench. With my excavator skills it kinda became a moat by the end of it.
I used bark, wood chips, spotted knapweed, and mullein as mulch. That and what unfortunate plant may have been growing in with the knapweed. I experimented with "vertical mulch" but sticking the mullein in the hugel to help keep other mulch in place. Because why not? The sides are quite steep. I tried to flatten it with the excavator... and one just managed to smash the whole side when I managed to reverse the controls in my brain, so I just let it me steep after that.
I planted the following:
- Sunchokes x 4
- Comfry x 4
- Yellow Sweet Clover
- Chickling Vetch
- Hairy Vetch
- Ladak Alfalpfa
- Arrow leaf clover
- Broadleaf Treefoil
- Mammoth red clover
- Black locust - Cherry seeds
- Sepp Holzer grains x 20 seeds
- 'mystery living fence'
And I topped it all off with a beautiful crown of tumbling mustard. Not sure if it counts as mulch or seed? Either way it was to make it prettier!
I am 5' 2" for height reference on the pile. The original measurement of the base was 7' by 6' but the added dirt would have increased that.
Do you have pictures of the seeds you planted? Also, it's supposed to be 7' tall. It's a bit hard to tell from the picture but it looks a bit shy. Could you take another pic showing that it is 7' tall? Awesome job!
"Hundreds of years from now it will not matter what my bank account was, the sort of house I lived in or the type of car I drove... But the world may be different because I did something so bafflingly crazy that it becomes a tourist destination"
I finished building my hugelkultur today! I started building it yesterday!
I am trying to build a hugelkultur on Plum Plateau at Basecamp. These are my two beginning pictures of the area I have staked out that is at least 7 feet long and at least 6 feet wide.
These are some progress pictures of my work on my hugelkultur.
These are a couple progress pictures of what I was able to complete at the end of yesterday.
These are progress pictures from today!
These are progress pictures with more of the woody bits covered.
I got the wood, twigs, branches, and woody matter from the surrounding area at Plum Plateau. Most of the wood that I used came from already felled trees. The soil and dirt that I got for my hugelkultur mostly came from Arrakis (the sandy area of Basecamp), and a smaller amount of the soil came from the surrounding area on Plum Plateau. This is my hugelkultur at it's height before seeding and mulching. I laid a tape measure out on the backside of my hugelkultur.
The tape measure reads 9 feet, and in the above picture it is clear that the tape measure isn't touching the tippy top of my hugelkultur. So, I am pretty certain that my hugelkultur is at least 7 feet tall or greater.
These are the seeds and tubers/roots that I have laid out to plant on my hugelkultur.
I planted my hugelkultur with the following:
-False Indigo Bush
-Wheaton Lab Sunflowers
-Winter Dormant Alfalfa
-Sepp Holzer Grain
-8 Sunchoke Tubers
-7 Comfrey Roots/tubers
These are sunchoke tubers in my hand about to be planted.
These are comfrey roots/tubers in my hand about to be planted.
These are black locust seeds in my hand about to be planted.
These are many Sepp Holzer Grains in my hand about to planted.
These are common vetch seeds in my hand about to be planted.
These are empty bags at my feet from about halfway through planting seeds on my hugelkultur.
These are all the empty seed bags to show that I planted all of the seeds that I brought for my hugelkultur.
This is my mulched hugelkultur bed, with the tape measure on the backside photo. In the backside photo, the tape measure extends to roughly the tippy top. My hugelkultur was primarily mulched with pine branches, as they are very abundant, and I mulched some other parts of my hugelkultur with mullein from around Arrakis, tree bark from by The Shop, ninebark stems from Plum Plateau, and some straw from going up Volcano Road.
The tape measure reads over ten feet, so I am quite sure that my hugelkultur is above seven feet tall.
Overall paragraph of materials, seeds, and mulch:
I got the wood, twigs, branches, and woody matter from the surrounding area at Plum Plateau. Most of the wood that I used came from already felled trees. The soil and dirt that I got for my hugelkultur mostly came from Arrakis (the sandy area of Basecamp), and a smaller amount of the soil came from the surrounding area on Plum Plateau. I planted my hugelkultur with the following: Crimson Clover, Sweet Clover, Daikon Seeds, False Indigo Bush, Red Cowpeas, Common Vetch, Rhubarb, Wheaton Lab Sunflowers, Winter Dormant Alfalfa, Black Locust, Sepp Holzer Grain, 8 Sunchoke Tubers, and 7 Comfrey Roots/tubers. My hugelkultur was primarily mulched with pine branches, as they are very abundant, and I mulched some other parts of my hugelkultur with mullein from around Arrakis, tree bark from by The Shop, ninebark stems from Plum Plateau, and some straw from going up Volcano Road.
And just to give a better idea of the size of my hugelkultur, here's a video I took walking around it.