Hügelkultur are no-dig raised beds with a difference. They hold moisture, build fertility, maximise surface volume and are great spaces for growing fruit, vegetables and herbs. Hügelkultur, pronounced Hoo-gul-culture, means hill culture or hill mound.
The advantages of a Hugel bed are many, including:
The structure of the bed helps hold moisture within the bed and reduce the need for watering. The materials used to construct a bed can supply nutrients to your plants for up to 20yrs. In addition, the materials will produce heat potentially extending your growing season. We have seen Hügelkultur beds produce enough heat to see year-round growing.
Image is the garden at the Cridge centre growing all year round.
These types of beds will not require tilling for a long time.
With the seasons we have on the island, it might be that you only have to water your bed once or twice a year.
Another benefit of the Hügelkultur is that it increases the growing area of your garden and can add nice height to your garden.
There are several methods of construction and materials used, depending on your personal needs. A key point to remember when building your Hügelkultur garden is your choice of wood, as this will impact on what you grow and how often you may have to water your bed.
To summarise a Hugal bed will allow you:
· To garden with less irrigation or fertilization
· To grow in backyards and non-typical sites
· to use up rotting wood, twigs, branches and even whole trees.
· to reduce the amount of time you need to maintain your garden.
· to choose to have a raised bed or indeed a flush bed.
· To start small, and be added to later
· To do your bit for the environment through carbon sequestration in your own back yard
· To take advantage of any blown over trees.
We run Hügelkultur gardening workshops. Follow us on Facebook for more information of a workshop near you.