Hugelkultur Squash Beds

Gardening

Even though it is too late to really get a garden going, I figured I would at least plant some squash beds.  I’m putting them among the trees in my orchard, so it is relatively shady right now, but hopefully one we clear a little more, the sun will kick the plants into full gear and we will have some squash this year.  I wish I had more time earlier to plant a garden, but it just didn’t work out that way.

I believe I have talked about hugelkulture beds before, but in case I haven’t I’ll do so quickly now.  Hugelkulture beds are basically compost piles that you grow your plants right in.  There is a bit of layering to do, but a really easy set up depending on how big you want to go.  I made about a three foot bed for each kind of squash.  This style of bed should be a good growing bed for years to come.  It feeds the plants very well as the compost breaks down right in place.  The decomposing organic material also acts like a sponge and holds water right in place where the plants need it.  However, they are also a raised bed and will adequately drain if there is too much water.

What I did was dig about a three foot wide hole, just deep enough to get the topsoil and put it aside.

Next, I piled big rotting logs into the hole.

On top of that I piled smaller rotting logs and on like that for a bit.

On top of the layers of rotting wood I put a layer of leaves.

The final layer was the topsoil I had saved.  I had to get a little more topsoil from around the pile since the pile was pretty big.  I would guess about two feet tall with the soil on top.  Then I planted the seeds kind of randomly throughout the pile, trying to give each one room.  They were probably more close together than you would normally plant squash, but I felt that the huge amount of food and moisture that these beds would provide would be more than adequate even if all ten plants grew well.  I don’t really know, but we will find out.

Here is a video on hugelkulture from the pros at permies.com.

 

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