Monday, February 8, 2016

Backyard Project: Advantages of Hugelkultur Beds

The three finished Hugelkutur beds
The nearest one is in the shape of a water drop. The one beside it a feather and the far one a leaf. But more about their shapes later.

I have placed a temperature probe in one of the beds to monitor the soil activity. The logs in the centre of the bed will slowly break down and provide food for the plants. The logs will also act like a sponge and soak up a huge amount of water that will be accessible to the larger plant roots.

Tom gently packs the sides to make the beds stable. The slope reduces compaction of the soil, a major problem in garden beds. The slope also acts to greatly increase the surface area available to plant. Another plus is raised beds are so easier on the back when working on them than conventional garden beds.

The beds are orientated in a north-south direction to get the warming sun on the plants all day. The curved shapes with drier top areas and wetter lower areas make for micro-niche growing areas to suit a wide range of plants. 
During the first year while the green manure crop is growing, I will spend time observing the movement of the sun and identifying these niches while planning what to plant where in the second year. I think I have the patience to wait.

Tom laid down the base for the path to the studio then placed a layer of top soil either side for the studio lawn. The place in front of my studio doesn't look like a construction zone anymore.

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