Thursday, September 27, 2012

Fall and new hugel bed

Well it is fall here now and we have MOST of our firewood put up. We did have a few logs go punky before we could get them cut up and stacked, so we have decided on an alternate idea for using those punky logs as well as some stumps, hard to use tree parts, branches, etc.

We are building a new baby hugelkulture bed just east of the house, very close so that we'll have at least one of our gardens close enough to run out and pick something for dinner rather than 200' away.

Joel has a crappy front lawn (our son) so we stripped off the sod for him to use in his yard, much better, and then we discovered a nice deep topsoil of rich black dirt.

In digging to see how deep that topsoil was we discovered it was likely 18" and then Joel dug all the black dirt off of the area and set it aside to redistribute the wealth on top of the bed when finished..(election terms sticking in my head this week).

After piling the soil to the side we quit for the night, and there was some water seeped in from the water table, there is also a drain sock in one corner that leads to a drain tile to a ditch, so it wouldn't ever fill completely with water.

I was standing on the deck when I took this photo, there is about 25' between the deck and the bed so it will be much closer to go and harvest produce. You can see that there is a spruce tree on the NE side of the bed and N of there is also a baby maple tree. Out in the field are baby weeping willows and other trees such as pines and maples..and north of this area is a large pond that the water drains into from this lawn area. My son's house is to the south east (right).

The next day Joel began chaining up piles of punky logs and hauling them to the hole, and stacking them a matter of 2 days he got two layers and a third layer on one side which he began backfilling with some soil with sawdust and wood chips and bark in it, and then with the black can see more dirt piled to the left of the backfilled area, that will go over the right side when we finish stacking logs in there.

The trees that I'm peering through to take the photos are 3 dwarf pear trees planted right next to the railing of my decking..the deck is the full length of the side of our house and there is a greenhouse and woodshed here as we leave a drive through so we can get to the woodshed on the left.

Eventually we'll finish both sides of the bed, rake the top off even and then we'll mulch it well with compost, grass clippings and chopped fall leaves and we'll continue to add compost over the winter. We'll plant some areas with some winter wheat and other winter crops to stabilize it over the winter..and we'll plant a couple of baby peach trees either this fall or early spring on the west side (hoping the bed will help protect the peaches from late spring frosts).

All of our gardens are mixed edible food forest gardens and this one will be too when we are able to plant it, we'll use the peach trees as well as some comfrey, rhubarb, herbs and of course perennial and annual crops.

(editing) Last night Joel finished off filling the right side of the hugelbed with more logs, including some aspen cordwood and punky stuff. He finished piling on some sawdust, woodchips and bark as well as the rest of the black soil and smoothing it over some ...still have to put on the mulch but this is the fnished bed before mulch or planting.

and no, Jimmy Hoffa is NOT buried in our yard..this is reallly a hugelbed..