Last week on The Weekend Gardener with NikiJabbour we talked about my hugelkultur. No, that’s not German for Culture of Hugs and Bagels (close, though!) Hugelkultur is a method of building a raised bed with a base of logs. I was too punk-ass lazy to photography my bed when I first built it out of the logs from the backyard spruces I trimmed last winter—and now it’s completely camouflaged with squash vines—but this picture gives you the basic idea.
The advantages of the method are manifold: first, it’s a fairly quick and easy way to make a large raised bed. If you have mobility issues or simply value comfort, a high-built hugelkulture can be a comfortable way to garden from a standing position (once it starts to decompose, you can just add more logs or other organic method on the top to maintain height). Second, the logs soak in moisture and then release it slowly over time, allowing the bed to become essentially self-watering in dry times. I have watered my hugelkultur this summer, but only about half as often as my “unenhanced” beds. Third, as the years pass, the logs will slowly decompose, releasing nutrients into the soil, maintaining the fertility and productivity of the bed.
Fun! Easy! (Okay, not easy easy, but easier than most other ways to build a big, raised bed). Permaculture-y! Amusing to pronounce! Hugelkultur. A definite success so far.