What a wonderful surprise I had this afternoon; I had rung my mother to check on the possibility of getting a loan of the tractor to dig up some dirt for covering all that wood for my Hugelkultur beds only to find out that the tractor is broken down. About an hour after that I was out digging a big hole for the new drop toilet (and harvesting the soil for my new beds) when my mum drives up with a ute full of soil. Blessings Mum.
My reading today raised one issue I hadn’t thought of; nitrogen. When carbon breaks down it uses nitrogen in large quantities and wood is mostly carbon. So I thought I would add a heap of blood and bone (high nitrogen) to the bed to try to mitigate the nitrogen drain of the wood breaking down. My first crop will be bush beans, snow peas and maybe an early tomato or two; the bush beans ans snow peas are legumes (draw nitrogen into the soil via bacteria) and the tomatoes don’t need lots of nitrogen.
You can see the pile in all its glory here.
Anyway I have spent a productive afternoon carrying soil in to the bed and only need another trailer full to finish stage one of the bed. The next step is to cover the lot with straw from the sheep shelter and a heap of blood and bone for nitrogen content then I can plant it.