Farmhand Will Burke mentioned building a garden bed from decayed logs.  I really was intrigued, but nothing more was discussed.  I was watching a couple of permaculture videos and someone said a word, it was not clear “hubiculture.”  Hum!  I searched and searched but nothing came up.  I was on a mission to learn more so I google searched “planting techniques” and came across an informative website. There it was, HUGELKULTUR.  I was blown away, I wanted to try this permaculture planting technique.  Will was ready to go and knew how to layer the materials: rotten logs, horse manure, branches, hay, and compost.  We had all the materials on site.  Because the gopher wire (aviary wire) was being replaced throughout the garden, I did purchase heavy duty hardware fabric to keep out the gophers.

Step 1: Digging down about 1 foot and laying down the hardware cloth.  Bottom layer, rotten logs. Fortunately, we had a dead dogwood and locust to use.


Step 2:  Pouring about 4 wheelbarrows of horse manure. Stepping it down into the cracks and crevices to remove air pockets and aid in decomposition.



Step 3:  After the layer of horse manure, add more branches and twigs to build the mound.


After adding the branches, step on it to compact and break branches. Water well (soak):


Step 4: Layer with a bale of straw and water really well again.


Step 5: Cover the mound with compost. Add a nice, thick layer of soil so you can stick your hand into before reaching the hay layer.  Plant seeds.  I will be building a locust  limb “planting bed frame” around the mound to keep in the soil, the chickens have a habit of playing in the dirt!!



We’ll make one more mound in the garden, I really like this technique!  I was so pleased to use up materials around the farm, it is very rewarding.

About lovecreekfarm

2.5 acre permaculture with heritage orchard, organic gardens, redwood forest, and riparian corridor along Love Creek at the base of Ben Lomond mountain, San Lorenzo Valley, Santa Cruz County.
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