Sunday, October 9, 2016

Step by Step Hugelkulture

Adventures in Hugelkultur - or How I am Cleaning my Garden this Fall
a guest post by Sharon S.

Hugelkultur what is that?  Simplistically, it’s a mounded, raised garden bed made from a variety of organic materials.  The mound decomposes providing a long-term supply of nutrients.  It also stores water and requires less watering.  I had a tired old vegetable garden that needed a rehab so I decided to make my first mini hugelkultur.   Here’s what I’ve done so far:

  1. Dug a trench - mine was about 4 feet wide by 8 feet long by 18 inches deep.  I wanted to make it deeper but I ran out of digging steam (aka the rocks won).  

  1. Add cardboard (no tape or stickers)
  2. Added woody debris mostly branches from my pruning efforts over the last year


  1. Added layers as I cleaned up the garden - included fennel, parsley, sunflowers (no weeds or weed seeds)
As I continue to clean up the garden, I add more layers to my “pit” - bean stalks, tomato plants, petunias, soil from pots, grass clippings, shredded paper, more sunflowers, bokashi, soil, and as the fall cleanup of the yard continues, the pile gets larger.  


  1. Sounds like my compost pit, minus the cardboard and sticks. I do it each year and get more soil for my cliff-side potato patch. - Margy

    1. Hi Margy, Thx for commenting. GC

  2. I first came across this concept in the early 1980's, from a fellow in Yahk BC who swore by it. It's a great way to build raised beds, as the structure holds them together and the layers slowly compost and feed the beds. I had great success with it during the 18 years I lived (and gardened) in Lund.


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