I just love Hugelkultur; not only is it a great way to grow vegetables with minimal water, it also gets rid of piles of unsightly woody weeds and sticks. I first posted about my Hugelkultur beds way back in 2013, when I began building my beds in a chicken run/vegetable growing area. Since then the beds have been planted, harvested, laid fallow, used as a chicken run, used as a duck run, housed wildlife, been tidied up and replanted and finally laid fallow again.
This time the whole area was a terrible mess of weeds, mostly paddy’s lucerne. I spent the day digging out or cutting off all the large, woody weeds in the path and beds, these weeds were then piled onto the areas of bed that needed building up. Weeds have a lot of nutrient in them which would otherwise go to waste, by piling them onto the beds I can allow them to break down and keep the nutrients in the garden where my vegetables can use them (most of them had not seeded yet so they won’t add to the weed seed bank in the soil much).Before i got too carried away with gardening, I made a planting plan, partly to help me remember where and what I planted in there and partly so I could put some thought into placement of plants to provide shelter to those that need it.
I then shoveled as much soil from the path to the beds as I could and collected chook compost from the chook pen to pile on top. This was topped off with some bags of bought compost (there is never enough compost is there) and mulched with bought sugar cane mulch. All this was only enough to finish the front third of the total area of beds, so I planted that out according to my planting planIt rained just as I finished mulching (conveniently) so they all got a good watering in. I just love planting out garden beds; everything is so full of hope and potential. I will have to finish the rest this weekend, I am going to buy a trailer full of compost to top up the beds. It is extravagant to buy a huge amount of compost and I could simply wait until the chook pen compost is ready for harvesting again, but I am really enjoying making this section of the garden productive once more and I want to keep my momentum up.
We have been making plant labels by painting stones at school lately. They are so pretty I think I will make a few for home too. I just love seeing the little pops of colour around the school gardens, and they will look amazing in my garden too.