The Shed

The Shed
The Shed

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

THE SECRET LIVES OF THE MOUND BUILDERS



Ready for a Discovery Channel moment? You have been cynically led astray, because this post is dedicated to Hugle Kultur, which is as everyone knows, the kulturing of hugles.

We knew nothing about this arcane practice here at the Shed, until Raymond Kukkee intoduced us in a round about fashion at his blog site, Incoming BYTES, cleverly disguised as a heap of vegetable nutrients. Hard on the heels of this revelation we discover a link on Wooly Acres that completely explains Huglekultur, and you can go to that link right HERE and learn all about it.

As the captioned drawing above indicates, we intend to construct a form of raised bed, perhaps 4' to 5' tall and about 5' wide on a base of logs using all sorts of debris to fill in the interstices and then top it off with some indifferent soil and then compost. Our bed will be about 20' long and we will try a variety of veggies on it. Below is the space the hugle will occupy...

   
The new bed will end at the top of the picture where you can just make out a horizontal line - a 4" x 4" - in the washed out February sunlight, flanked by a white stake on the right and a very dim stake on the left marking the margins left and right. The closer end will be just about where you might visualize the photographer's feet to be.

The trees casting the shadows will of course, have to go.

And that is essentially that folks, for the moment. Here at the Shed we'll be documenting the progress of the bed, step by step until hopefully we harvest some good things from it. Join us on our journey, and as you do bear in mind that a well kultured hugle is a hugle well kultured. 

Thanks for visiting Uncle Mac's Garden Shed!

3 comments:

Glory Lennon said...

Well all this talk of...what did you call those things? Hugels? Well, I'll stick to calling it a raised bed which I plan on making too, cuz I'm just sick to death of my swamp land causing so much trouble. At least I'm not alone. Wish me luck!

Raymond Alexander Kukkee said...

Way to go, Mac! If you have nice rich, good quality soil, excavate and the good soi and start the hugel logs laid out neatly, fill any spaces with rotten leaves,etc, upside down sod, You can use that good soil up top too! On my "heaps" projects, I just put topsoil right on top of any organic stuff available like garden trash, old hay, straw, whatever. Any old, broken down mulch is a perfect addition.
Don't go TOO high with the beds, you might need to get on stilts to pick the veggies. :))

I figure mine will be about 3' above soil grade for optimum weeding etc. They will settle as the logs deteriorate too. You CAN make them any height you like, really 5' might be good, unless you fall off when Farm Girl comes along to help. ":)

@ Glory, this is a perfect solution for wet land, raised beds sitting on hugel-style structured beds of logs sitting on wet land will feed the beds moisture but on a more controlled basis. The decaying logs hold and release moisture and slowly release nutrients. Try and get logs that are already old and decaying.
In your case, you don't need to dig in at all unless you want to use the rich topsoil. You could just build the hugel beds on top of a couple of layers of 4' logs on top of the wet soil and moisture will wick up into the logs and keep the beds moist. Can't wait to see what happens! I got a feeling that new toy, Tommy's backhoe --is going to come in VERY handy... Good luck with it! ":)

Mac Pike said...

Glory, I've a feeling you'll be more proficient with that back hoe than Tommy in the long run! Go get 'em!