The Hugelkultur Garden

Hugelkultur is a gardening technique that was developed by a German farmer in a area with poor soil.  Our soil is mostly sand which does not hold moisture so this technique accomplishes many things.  We first started by digging a two foot deep trench and then filled the trench with some of our dead fall tree trunks and debris.  Then we covered the trunks with soil and then added compost, torn up cardboard and straw.  This created mounds on which to grow the plants.  You soak the tree trunks with water so that it absorbs the water and also begins to decompose, naturally fertilizing the plants.

Our first year we made a tactical  error.  We thought that planting alon the ridge line of the mounds would be best but we quickly found that the plants on the sides of the mounds thrived while the plants on the ridges died.  It didn’t help that we had missed a spot in our fencing that allowed mice and rabbits into the garden where they happily ate all of our plants in one day. On the brighter side, we did find out that none of our critters liked squash.