Have you ever heard of hugelkultur? This is a German word that means “hill culture.”
Hugelkultur is a technique for managing water and fertilization of planting space by burying wood and making a large mound. This buried wood will begin to absorb lots of water and store it there. This will ensure the mound has plenty of water during the drier months. The wood will also eventually break down, which will fertilize the planting mound slowly over time.
If you want to try hugelkultur for yourself, the process is very simple. First what you need to do is dig a trench. Then load the trench with any large logs you can find. Then comes smaller logs, then sticks, then leaves and twigs. It’s best to use a mix of new wood and old wood for this project, as new wood can absorb nitrogen from the soil. Eventually the nitrogen gets released back into the soil, but you want to make sure that there is enough nitrogen for the plants you want to grow. Then you can cover this pile with soil. Once you have created this hugel, or hill, then it’s ready for planting!
This is the process that we follow, but it doesn’t need to be followed step by step. As long as you have the basic idea down, you will be successful. Just bury the wood and see what happens. Be sure to let us know your results!
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