Hugul Culture


I love everything about dandelions and they are supposed to be an excellent detoxifier when eaten…incidentally, they are our geese’s absolute favorite thing to eat. …unfortunately I am somewhat allergic.


I also prefer the firm cherries, I have killed 3 or 4 Bing so far…likely the clay soil here I think…but I have one that seems quite happy now, planted in an area that may have had more trees (in the past) and therefore leaf litter and resulting mix with organic matter and better drainage as a result…fingers crossed for that one…but I have had trouble with my more fussy stone fruits so I am turning my attention toward second and third choices in the sweet cherry and apricot department…I haven’t even ventured into peaches.


my clay soil has slowly killed 4 trees on me. try growing in raised beds or mounds. since I’ve planted that way, my trees are growing great.


I’ve made some long hugelculture berms that were first started with stacked logs. They were made at a property that had errosion issues and I was primarily trying to divert the water back and forth across areas to slow it down. I was pretty amazed how well the grass grew over these mounds, even though there wasn’t very much soil over the logs. It grew better and faster than the flat areas that had nice soil, worms, etc. I think the aeration helped and other elements of the beds, such as drainage in wet times and water retention during dry spells, seemed to benefit growth as well. I will definitely do more hugel stuff when/if I have the space to experiment. In areas of poor drainage or you want to build up an area to direct water, they are a great option to consider compared to just mounding up dirt.

I stumbled across this video on YouTube recently about someone digging into an older hugelcuture mound which I thought was interesting.

I don’t think hugelculture is a miracle cure for bad soil, etc., but definitely worth experimenting with.


although i haven’t made true hugel beds, all my raised beds have 12in. of wood and branches in the bottom of them then filled in with soil. i never need to water . I’ve only had to add a little soil over the last 5 yrs. saves you on soil. also added a 25lb bag of coarse D.E per 4’ x 8’ bed to help with water / air retention and adds silica which plants need.


I find peaches much easier and more resilirnt than apricots


As I have gradually moved toward no till and will be trying out some of Fukuoka’s “do nothing farming” methods this year, and appreciating my burdocks a bit more for their ability to penetrate the clay instead of cursing them…I am considering a hugulculture that does not involve digging, but rather , just building up from the existing soil surface. I have just had a warm spell and was able to take the deep litter…about 12 inches of straw, wood shavings and duck and goose manure and spread it over an area that was previously a bit stoney and hard and clay soil…I have also added woodash and bits of charcoal from the woodstove…and the coffee grounds that I collect from the local café. I was just thinking of piling on the cut (for burning) logs of Manitoba maple and just piling more layers from there…more duck/goose manure, topsoil, coffee grounds, maybe some peat moss, leaf litter etc…Anyone see any reason why hugulculture without digging down would be a problem ?


i don’t see why not. as long as the looks of the piles don’t bother you. go for it! id plant a legume cover crop right away to stabilize your soil then once thats established , plant your other plants. I’ve also seen where others have layed larger strait branches across the slope of the soil, partially buried to hold the soil in place, then plant in between the branches. this would also hold in more moisture. i keep my raised beds covered in 4in. of wood chips every year. does the same thing. i till it into the soil in the fall and by next spring I’m ready to plant again.


I just picked up a 50lb bag of buckwheat which I am going to experiment with as a weed suppressor and have 2 lb of red clover and 3 lb of white clover…I will take your advice and cover it with white clover seed once it is ready !


I am really looking forward to this project, it will provide not only a diversion from the usual activities outside but also ‘geographical’ point of interest on the landscape which is otherwise relatively flat, save for a southward slope of …maybe 5 feet (max) …from the house to the southern most corner of the property which is a little swamp. It will also make a bit of a wind shelter from north/northeast winds and create supper sunny and shady little microclimates.


post some pics as you build it . be nice to see it go thru its stages. has a lot of info on hugels as well.


Yes! Do post pictures of your progress if you can. I have been wanting to try a smallish hugel bed for strawberries for a few years, but keep putting off getting started on it.


I did 2 of my raised beds 3 years ago. The first year (I did them the previous fall) there wasn’t much difference, maybe a little settling problem. Starting in year 2 the required watering in these beds was reduced significantly. Plants have done very well in these beds even though I have cut back on watering significantly.



I have pics if progress so far but no idea how to post on here, I have looked and found no instructions.


Drag and drop from the photos folder on your computer.
Or right click the photo select copy then paste in the message box.
or click the upload button


Buckweat works pretty good as a weed suppressor i also harvest it in fall and grind for pankcakes


Started with woodstove ash and charcoal bits on grass.Manure from duck pens (straw, wood shavings, cardboard) and coffee grounds added


Mainly Manitoba maple a few bits of cherry and oak. Then some old duck eggs smashed in there.