Hugel-what? Some new and exciting raised beds in the TPL Gardens this year will include a hugelkultur (pronounced hoogle culture). In German, the rough translation means “round culture”. This is a sustainable gardening technique
using woody debris (fallen branches and/or logs) as a natural foundation. Woody debris becomes sponge-like, and absorbs lots of vital nutrients and rainfall, slowly releasing to the mound’s plants.
Summarized by Paul Wheaton at http://www.richsoil.com/hugelkultur/ here are the features of growing a hugelkultur:
- grow a typical garden without irrigation or fertilization
- has been demonstrated to work in deserts as well as backyards
- use up rotting wood, twigs, branches and even whole trees that would otherwise go to the dump or be burned
- it is pretty much nothing more than buried wood
- can be flush with the ground, although raised garden beds are typically better
- can start small, and be added to later
- can always be small – although bigger is better
- You can save the world from global warming by doing carbon sequestration in your own back yard!
- perfect for places that have had trees blown over by storms
- can help end world hunger
- give a gift to your future self
Here are the beginning stages of the TPL hugelkultur.
The view from inside the library.