Thanks very much to Carol Henderson, a local Otepoti Urban Organics network member, who sent me this great pictorial she made about how to construct a 'Hugelbeet'. A Hugelbeet is a form of mounded garden that contains lots of organic matter and will just keep churning out those crops for a few years without too much extra nutrient application. You can be creative with the specific ingredients used, based on whats avalaible. The basic idea is coarser longer lasting stuff in the core, moving out through sod, leaves, seaweed, and topped off with a layer of compost/soil. Cool stuff!
STEP 1: This was a lawn which had been reduced to "ground zero" by the chickens in preparation. I had skimmed the grass off around the perimeter to use as a path and lined it with newspaper , cardboard and coffee sacks. Then I skimmed off a layer of "sods" around the edge of what is to be my hugelbeet.
This is the view from the opposite end where I thought it gave a better view.
STEP 2: The "core" of branches and rough stuff.
STEP 3: The layer of 'sod'
STEP 4: The thick layer of leave...I cheated a bit since I didn't have enough and used some rotted pine needles from the paths
STEP 5: I covered the rotted pine needles with grass clippings and then emptied the used tomato bags on the top. The white stuff is Gypsum as the ground is solid clay.
Side view! The diagram I was following had the ends cut away but since the area I was using had pointy ends I just went with that.I decided to include the edges in the rough compost stage otherwise nothing would grow there ...unless the hugelbeet spread!!
STEP 6: Next.....the rough compost. I assumed this meant compost which wasn't quite ready and I just happened to have a bin full of it :)
STEP 7: I decided to use the bags of seaweed collected last week as an extra layer...very smelly!! Then I put the pine needles down on the path but didn't have quite enough. Now it has to be covered in 15cm of soil but I have to bring that up in buckets from the gully and that will probably take all week!!
Note: I ended up emptying out one of my new deep beds on top of all this and putting some edging around to keep it from flowing onto the path.
Thanks again Carol for your awesome contribution. If anyone else out there has pictorials etc. like this but your having trouble uploading it here, just drop me an email and I can help you out! Cheers, Bart (firstname.lastname@example.org)