Hugelkultur is a simple technique to clear out old branches and waste from your backyard, while preparing fresh ground for new plants to blossom. If your house was built on dry, urban soil, making a hugelkultur bed is a fun way to enrich the soil naturally. You can clean up your yard while investing in your future garden, without spending anything.
Hugelkultur, or raised-bed planting, can take many forms. If you already have some raised beds from last year’s garden, you can start there, or find a place in the back perimeter of your garden to dig into. You only need to dig down to a shallow depth so that you can place down a layer of whatever yard scraps and old fallen branches you have available. Then take the soil you removed, adding it to the branches, with any other organic composting materials (including kitchen scraps) you have on hand. You can empty out old planters, or stick with the soil from the yard. If you have nitrogren-rich potting soil or manure, add that to the first layer of the hugel bed.
Your hugel bed can be as shallow as six inches, or as deep as a couple of feet, depending on how much digging you want to do. Depth will also control the amount of moisture retained by the soil.
Steps for backyard hugelkultur:
- Find a sunny place with at least a 2×4 foot space, maybe at the edge of your property or in an existing garden space.
- Dig in! Save any soil you displace for later.
- Lay the biggest branches down first.
- Cover these with some of your soil, and hose some water over the mixture.
- Repeat steps 3 and 4 with finer materials such as leaves and pine needles until you have cleaned up the yard waste as intended.
- Plant lots of seeds of whatever beautiful plants, vegetables, and flowers you want to watch grow throughout the spring season!
Remember that CAMDUR, your local West Georgia Construction Company, is also proud to partner with Alternative Environments, Inc. to best provide our customers with a range of eco-friendly landscaping services.