A hugelkultur is a mound of decaying wood, branches and plant debris that you cover with soil to grow flowers and vegetables upon. Growing on this mounding system minimizes watering and fertilizing, and increases available growing space. The decaying matter holds a ton of moisture, as well as nutrients for the plants. This method was developed in Germany, and is a favorite method in permaculture. I began the process for this type of garden in the fall of 2016, and look forward to its completion in the spring of 2020. Providing enough soil and compost to fully cover the mound has certainly taken some time, but I know patience and hard work will pay off. This past fall we finished adding soil and compost to it. Having family that owns machinery certainly made it go a little faster. This garden is a ways away from easy access to water, and by utilizing the decaying wood, after a rainy fall and snowy winter, the mound should be plenty saturated. It will feature several native plants, including native shrubs, as I hope to encourage more forage for our native pollinator species, as well as our honeybees. It has been interesting to watch how the mound begins to settle, attract wildlife and insects, as well as the establishment of the plants. As the mound took shape, squirrels and chipmunks, voles, woodpeckers and other wildlife utilized its many burrows or exposed branches. Beetles, butterflies and bees made use of the bare soil and saturated spaces for water, minerals and safe spaces. I look forward to adding more of these types of gardens in the future, and stay tuned for more great pictures and experiences with this garden.
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