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Hugelkultur, Hill or Mound Gardening

Extend the growing season, conserve moisture and recycle twigs, branches and logs into a raised bed of rich garden soil with Hugelkultur.

Start your garden in a sunny or shady location, depending on the plants you want to grow. You can create your Hugelkultur garden on the soil surface or start it in a trench. The lowest level consists of larger branches and logs.  Avoid cedar and black locust that break down slowly and black walnut that can be toxic to plants.

Fill this in with more carbon rich material such as dried tree leaves and straw. Cover this layer with nitrogen rich materials like plant-based kitchen scraps, annual weeds that have not gone to seed and herbicide-free grass clippings. Cover this with compost or composted manure and top it off with topsoil. 

You can plant immediately or allow it to settle for several months.

A bit more information: The goal of this growing system is to mimic the natural decay and soil building system of the woodlands. Just like the trees that fall in the woods, the logs and branches in your Hugelkultur bed absorb moisture and release it to the surrounding soil. And as the organic matter decays, it releases nutrients to the plants growing in the garden. Since it takes years for the woody plant debris to decay, the moisture and nutrient benefits also last for many years.  For more information visit by Huglekultur blog.

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