Hugelkultur, is a German word that is pronounced Hoo-gul-culture and means “hill culture” or “hill mound”. It is a composting method that allows you to grow in the mound you have created. It is a long lasting system that feeds the bed for years to come.
Hugelkultur mounds can be as simple or complicated as you like.They can be big or small, above ground or dug deeper into the ground (great for very poor soil).
Take a look at the information below to see if it would work for the space you have and let us know if you have made a Hugelkultur bed – we would love to see it.
We have decided to grow our strawberries on a Hugelkultur mound. We have yet to actually do it as we are still in the preliminary phase of gathering the resources and planning the position and design of the bed. We will keep you posted on our progress but in the meantime we would like to share the information we have have found to be useful along the way.
Benefits of Hugelkultur
- Long lasting nutrient rich beds
- Raised mounds mean more space to grow
- Retains water better than humus alone which means it is a water wise system
- Extends growing season due to the heat from the wood decomposition
- Great way to use dead branches and wood
How To’s of Hugelkultur
Here are some great articles on Hugelkultur that we have found useful:
Permaculture Research Institute – useful introduction to various methods of creating a Hugelkutur mound as well as how the decomposition works. Explains the difference between above ground and below ground methods. It also specifies which woods are suitable and why.
Permaculture Research Institute – A step by step guide
Permaculture.co.uk – describes the many benefits of Hugelkulture and explores different methods for layering the materials.
Have you used the Hugelkultur method? Please share your pics and tips with us – we would love to hear them!
Till next time,
Shireen & Kathy
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