Hugelkultur+Wicking

LeahB

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Hi all,

I'm hoping to experiment with incorporating hugelkultur elements in wicking/self-watering pots and am wondering if anyone else has experimented with incorporating these two kinds of garden bed/pot together?

I'd be really interested to hear how that went for you, and anything you've learnt from it.
 

Mandy Onderwater

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Hi @LeahB !

Interesting question! I have actually experimented a little, but found that it really didn't work for me. In all fairness I hadn't informed myself properly and this was in my first year. I made the mistake of using infected wood - you can probably guess that it didn't end well. But I think it could be really beneficial to both you and your plants!
I've looked it up and there are very helpful videos, also depending in how much in-depth you wish to go.

I figured this might be what you'd be looking for :)

This video shows a little bit of what Mark had done himself in a raised garden bed,

Mark also shows how he layers general garden waste (like twigs and weeds) in this video,

I hope that (at the very least) the first video will give you some tips and tricks! Just try imagining raised garden beds as extra large pots. :D

Psst, you may have inspired me to try again.
 

DThille

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I’ve got a thread going here on the beginning of Hugelkultur style raised beds - I effectively followed Mark’s videos and adapted. This is our first summer growing with them and overall I’m happy, although having brought in material from our country place and a neighbour’s ”ancient” manure pile, along with wood chips from the country, we are having a lot of pest pressure. Top that off with a dry summer (we are in a level of drought and 2020 was the driest on record for Winnipeg) and we are seeing some mixed results. My wife put together a garlic-based spray for the pests and that may have done more harm than good to some of the plants.

The zucchini and cucumber are coming along.

4570D511-FD3B-4E2F-AD90-A2753DE76BE6.jpeg


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I’d wonder how well it would scale down to container size though. If it were too small, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to start with much in the way of wood. I guess starting with branches / tree trimmings and moving smaller to ultimately top with soil ought to work.

Good luck!
 

Mandy Onderwater

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I’ve got a thread going here on the beginning of Hugelkultur style raised beds - I effectively followed Mark’s videos and adapted. This is our first summer growing with them and overall I’m happy, although having brought in material from our country place and a neighbour’s ”ancient” manure pile, along with wood chips from the country, we are having a lot of pest pressure. Top that off with a dry summer (we are in a level of drought and 2020 was the driest on record for Winnipeg) and we are seeing some mixed results. My wife put together a garlic-based spray for the pests and that may have done more harm than good to some of the plants.

The zucchini and cucumber are coming along.

View attachment 5809

View attachment 5810

I’d wonder how well it would scale down to container size though. If it were too small, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to start with much in the way of wood. I guess starting with branches / tree trimmings and moving smaller to ultimately top with soil ought to work.

Good luck!
Wow that looks amazing. Thank you for sharing :D
 

LeahB

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Feb 4, 2021
Messages
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Temperate (all seasons)
Hi @LeahB !

Interesting question! I have actually experimented a little, but found that it really didn't work for me. In all fairness I hadn't informed myself properly and this was in my first year. I made the mistake of using infected wood - you can probably guess that it didn't end well. But I think it could be really beneficial to both you and your plants!
I've looked it up and there are very helpful videos, also depending in how much in-depth you wish to go.

I hope that (at the very least) the first video will give you some tips and tricks! Just try imagining raised garden beds as extra large pots. :D

Psst, you may have inspired me to try again.

Thanks Mandy, those videos have some great information about how to adapt hugelkultur concepts to more of a container bed setting :)
 

LeahB

Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2021
Messages
15
Climate
Temperate (all seasons)
I’ve got a thread going here on the beginning of Hugelkultur style raised beds - I effectively followed Mark’s videos and adapted. This is our first summer growing with them and overall I’m happy, although having brought in material from our country place and a neighbour’s ”ancient” manure pile, along with wood chips from the country, we are having a lot of pest pressure. Top that off with a dry summer (we are in a level of drought and 2020 was the driest on record for Winnipeg) and we are seeing some mixed results. My wife put together a garlic-based spray for the pests and that may have done more harm than good to some of the plants.

The zucchini and cucumber are coming along.

View attachment 5809

View attachment 5810

I’d wonder how well it would scale down to container size though. If it were too small, you wouldn’t necessarily be able to start with much in the way of wood. I guess starting with branches / tree trimmings and moving smaller to ultimately top with soil ought to work.

Good luck!


Despite all the challenges, your garden beds still look gorgeously green!

Yeah, I'll definitely have to change the method for pots/containers. I'm thinking less focus on wood (though still some twigs, sticks and maybe a few 8cmish rounds, which is about 4 inches maybe?) and more focus on the intermediate layers. Maybe trying some sawdust, dead leaves, unfinished compost, rotted manure, mushroom straw, and whatever else I can think of. It'll be shorter lived than proper hugelkultur, but hopefully a lot longer lived than a normal pot!

One of my concerns has been that combining it with a wicking system would make the pot too consistently moist for hugelkultur to work, so it's good to hear that moisture is an important component.

Thanks for sharing :)
 
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