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Hugelkultur Raised Bed - Greenery In A Drought
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Hugelkultur Raised Bed  -  Greenery In A Drought

Hugelkultur. Yeah, it's German. It's a fancy way for an English speaker to say "mound culture". Hugelkultur raised bed is simply throwing dirt over a pile of logs.

And you may be asking, "Why would I want to do that?"

The best answer is that you are lazy. Or you want to be lazy.

"But I'm not lazy. I work hard."

I hear you. I used to have the same idea. But hugelkultur changed my way of thinking. Now I want to be lazy. And after I explain the benefits, you will want to be lazy too.

What you need

The first thing you need is a plot of earth. But being that this is raised bed gardening you could actually do this on a concrete slab. Earth is better because there will be stuff to clean up after the wood decomposes. And earth will simply asssimilate what is left. Also, plant roots on perennials can go deep into the soil below the mound, breaking up compacted earth, and bringing water and nutrients to the surface.

But, to each his own.

Next, a pile of wood. And the more the merrier. If you can get enough to stack 7 feet high (with an earth covering) this would be optimal.

I hear you. “How am I going to plant, much less harvest, food crops on something that tall?!”

The answer is decomposition. As the wood decomposes, the mound shrinks. And you can use the top of the mound to plant things that will take time to grow - like trees.

Thirdly, you will need enough dirt to cover the mound of wood.

And lastly, machinery to place the wood and cover it with dirt. Or a bunch of strong backs.

What are friends for?

Why do all this?

The wood in the hugelkultur acts like a sponge. Whenever it rains, snow melts, or it floods, water will be absorbed by the dirt AND the wood. The wood then releases the water slowly.

This means when there's a drought and everything surrounding the mound is drying up and dying, plants on the hugelkultur are green and thriving.

Also, you won't be watering or fertilizing the mound. The wood will be metering out its water naturally. The wood will also be decomposing giving nutrients to the plants on the surface.


With some up front labor, you can have garden beds loaded with thriving crops, even in the worst droughts.

You will have to give up one thing in particular – work. Hugelkultur takes care of itself.

How do you feel about being lazy now?

Street Talk

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