A self-feeding garden bed that can hold more moisture than a ordinary garden bed. Simple to build, and requires only a few supplies.
The Hugel Bed is made to be self-supporting, feeding itself with a wood and filler middle. Additionally, being able to hold more water than traditional garden beds, allowing more time between watering, or rain if in a drier environment.
Done well, and built large enough, a Hugel Bed can last for many years.
Step 1: Supplies and Directions
Wood: Varying sizes from logs to twigs. Can use lumber as long as it is non-treated, devoid of nails screws, staples, etc...
Filler: Compostable material, leaves, cardboard (no tape, staples, etc), paper/newspaper (non-shiny), straw/hay, if it can be composted, it can go in the bed.
Dirt: Garden soil, composted soil, as long as it can be used to grow a garden.
1) Dig down about 4-6 inches in a rectangle, as big or small as you like.
2) Start by piling the largest logs in the bottom of the trench.
3) Top that layer of logs with filler.
4) Top the filler with more wood, smaller than the bottom wood layer.
5) Top that layer with more filler.
6) Repeat steps 4 and 5, decreasing the size of the wood each layer, until the top of the Hugel Bed is covered only by twigs.
7) Top the final wood layer with the last of the filler.
8) Cover with dirt. You can use the dirt you dug out in step 1, just be sure to put the grass side down.
9) Water thoroughly. Water for a couple of weeks to settle the Hugel Bed and to start the composting of the filler and wood.
The Hugel Bed can be built as long/wide/high as you like. Just be sure you can still garden and harvest from the bed with ease.
For best results, build the Hugel Bed the year before you plan to use it, to allow the filler and wood to start composting. Over the years, the Hugel Bed will shrink in size, but can be built up again, following steps 2-9.
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