My Low Budget Rotting Log Garden (Modified Hugelkultur) Crosspost from /r/permaculture
I have tried various forms of raised garden beds, and have found this one to be the most productive (thus far).
Here, in Florida, the soil quality is sandy and devoid of nutrients. Combined with the scorching heat and heavy insect activity, gardening is a big challenge.
In the past, I resorted to buying compost, as well as trying to build it via composting horse manure and using vermiculture. It required constant work, and involved great frustration, as the soil quickly leached back to its sandy state.
A couple of years ago, I brought home some palm logs to add as decorative elements to my herb garden. Over time, they decomposed, and were devoured by termites and ants. The result was a pile of dark, rich soil.
I moved and started planning my next garden. My thoughts reverted back to those decomposed palm stumps and I decided to try an experiment, making use of what my neighbors consider "garbage". I set about to harvest what was left by the curb on yard waste pickup day. I found a bonanza of nicely cut palm logs, raked and bagged oak leaves, rotted oak wood, Spanish moss and various plant cuttings. The premise of this is called "Hugelkultur", although I do, occasionally, water mine (which I understand is something you shouldn't have to do).
These, I arranged into a berm and covered with a load of compost from a local company. The cost of the soil for the garden was approximately $75 (although I bought more for other projects, as well), and should be the last; as I'll be able to recycle the compost from this project into the next one.
Each time I clean the chicken coop, I apply the soiled bedding as mulch. I've also added more Spanish moss and pine shavings (cheap livestock bedding) to keep the soil together.
I planted various seeds and cuttings. The results are as depicted. This is the healthiest and most prolific garden that I've ever grown. My biggest challenge is controlling the plants and giving the vines something to support them.
I am looking forward to a great harvest!
Submitted October 11, 2015 at 06:21AM by whatsreallygoingon
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