New garden beds aid in recycling

I’ve had a pile of neatly stacked firewood on my property ever since I moved to my current address. It’s slightly unsightly and occupies space that I could put to better use. The poblem is; the wood has been sitting untouched in the same pile while being exposed to all the elements, for at least 20 years. It is far too decomposed to be useful in the fireplace and I have been wanting to reclaim its footprint for quite some time.

I’m stoked to finally have found a new purpose for this wood. I save money on soil, enrich the bed long term, and get rid of the pile, all at the same time. This is my favorite type of recycling.


I’ve done the same with all my beds. the large black willow around my property loses large branches every time the wind blows. i had a huge pile so i cut them up and filled my raised beds halfway with them. most are about 5yrs old now and I’m starting to have to add new soil but it took about 4 yrs before they started to go down. once the boards of the beds rot out, ill start it all over. other than adding some new soil , i haven’t had to fertilize them yet.

The term for this is hugelkultur if you google it. It cuts down on watering as well the rotted wood acts somewhat like a sponge.

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i got the idea from a permaculture site i was on. its a interesting concept and has worked well here so far. i wanted to do it without creating berms everywhere,

Actually, my initial plan was to make a fairly large hügelkultur in the vary back of the property in order to properly dispose of the wood and to have it covered with perennial tree collards (I have plenty of branches and other wood debris as well), something similar to Dan from Plant Abundance. But the plan of grading that area has been severely delayed due to multiple contractor hiccups and I was looking at at least another year before I could do so. After all, I don’t want the grading crew to remove it once they get started.

I was not planning on making my garden beds as deep as I made them either (2 feet), but with the latest delay I figured I would use them in the bed, along with cardboard which I have plenty of after the recent move.

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I wonder if the bed will bow without a structure to support weight of soil

It work just fine as long as you don’t throw the soil against the walls while filling. Once bed is filled, the walls don’t budge.


They look good. I was going to build some myself in the fall most I’ve seen have a wood exoskeleton for support it would save money and time if I didn’t need to do that. How long have they been in use? They look brand new

I built them last week, so yes, they’re brand new. I was a bit reserved myself as I opted to not have any wood touch any soil at any time. So I could only have wood on top. Also, I could have saved tons of time by cutting the roofing sheets lengthwise, but then I would definitely need some support every so often since it’s not rigid enough in that direction.
Despite the depth, thankfully these are holding up fine. I build six 8x4x2 (which is what you see in the pictures), two 4x2x1 and one 12x3x1 (the asparagus bed). I’m happy with the results and will continue construct any future beds like this.

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Afternoon shot. Not all beds are populated yet. Will fill most of them up with cabbage and kale in a week, and replace all cucumbers that grows against the chicken run.