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Hugelkultur--Oklahoma Style


mhaigh
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Huglekultur…..Oklahoma Style (my experience here in Bethany, OK Zone 7) 

 

This is about as clear an explanation on how to do it  http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/ 

 

There is another website form http://permies.com/forums/f-117/hugelkultur but you have to sort thru a lot of “stuff†before you get to good information.

 

Started with a log pile about 5’ wide x 4’ tall x 20’ long that I had been collecting for months.  Oak, maple, pecan, mulberry and sycamore and scrap 2x4s.  Avoided any pitchy wood such as; pine, cedar, redwood, no treated lumber scraps.  The lumber ranged from large chunks of trunks to small branches.  Older rotten wood is fine, so is freshly cut…..you can’t go wrong!

 

Started May 29th:  After covering the logs, brush and leaves with about 18-24†of sandy loadm topsoil (thanks to Mr Tractor, who helped with my greenhouse excavation), we covered with cheap landscape fabric to keep the Bermuda grass from encroaching into the mound.  The small 1x4 pieces of scrap wood are there to prevent a hard rain from washing out the small sweet potato slips.  We planted 21 slips that were about 2†tall.  Our neighborhood was a dairy farm uptil about 50 years ago, so the red clay dirt has been amended with plenty of cow manure......great dirt!

 

Progress on June 28th:  The only water that was applied to this, was a couple of times the first week to make sure the plants got established.  We didn’t have much rain (maybe 2" in 60 days) after the 1st week of June, so this growth is all due to the moist environment created by the logs/soil mound, and the nature wicking action of the decaying wood.  This is one of the huge benefits in my estimation.....no water, I repeat no water was applied for months!

 

Progress on July 22th:   Looking good!  No issues, fortunately sweet potatos seem to have few pests or diseases issues!  Still zero weeding or watering all summer long.  My kind of gardening!

 

Harvest on October 25th:  Two photos, one of the monster sweet potato, the other is the potatoes from one slip!  Even as big and ginourous as some of the SP are, they are tender, not tough or woody.  I planted a peach tree on the end of the pile in April, so we are looking forward to seeing how it does.  Fruit trees benefit greatly from hugelkultur piles, they get all the nutrients they need for 20 years.

 

The first year is the “leanest†as far as production, the word is that the pile gets richer and more productive with age….I am looking for another spot to start another wood pile.

Sorry that the photos are not sorted chronologically......not sure how to do that without starting over with the photo uploading.....

 

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Hi

That is a nice hugelbed  :bow: and nice harwest.

  thanks for sharing the pics & your build method :thumbsu:

I'm still in the building fase of my hugelbeds :phew:

I'w not avoided pine/fir or any particular wood  :confused:  in fact I'w used it spesificaly, in the parts that I plan to have bluberrys and other acidic soils preefering plants. 

I have no idea if that is a smart choise, just noticed what kind of wood/forest bottom they grow in, in the wild and try to mimick that mix in the beds. 

 

Will be exciting to see how it developes :cool:

 

cheers

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Jens,

No issues with pulling out the potatoes.  I had to open up the landscape fabric a bit more with a knife to exhume the potatoes since the cluster was much bigger than the orginal hole.  In most places, the dirt is 12-18" higher than the top of the wood core.

 

I did have about 12" of the wood pile below grade, there was a natural depression in this spot so I just scratched out the grass and starting piling in my dead logs.  I have seen both below grade, above grade and semi-below grade installations detailed on the web.

 

Thanks........mh

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