Hugelkultur is a type of raised bed that does a fantastic job at holding moisture, allowing fertility, maximizing space and… well, I guess the list goes on and on!
With this post, learn more about the practice of hugelkultur gardening and the many benefits that come with it.
Pronounced hoo-gul-culture, the name of this practice means ‘hill culture’ or ‘hill mound.’
This practice makes use of dead branches, leaves and grass clippings by recycling them. To build a hugel bed, you must mound the yard waste, along with any compose, manure or other biomass you’ve got. Then, top the compound with soil and plant your vegetables in it.
One advantage that comes with this method is through the use of wood in the mound. The gradual decay of this wood provides long-term nutrients for plants. By using hardwood, a single mound can supply plants nutrients for over 20 years. The wood also generates heat, which allows for a longer, productive growing season.
As longs and branches break down, soil aeration increases, which means that the bed will be no till.
The logs also act as sponges, storing rainwater and releasing them during dry times. It’s quite common to never need to water your hugel bed after the first year, unless you live in an especially dry area. Otherwise, regular seasonal rain will provide more than enough water.
Alder, aspen, birch, cottonwood, maple, oak, poplar and dead willow will all work wonders for your hugelkultur bed.