What! Did you just read that correctly – a garden bed that creates moisture? How could that be?
In this video, we introduce you to a very old method of creating raised garden beds called “hugel-kultur”, meaning “hill-culture”.
We use this natural process to rapidly enhance our clay garden soil and get crops to produce abundance more quickly.
These hill-shaped pockets of buried organic material decompose under the soil and function like small pockets of moisture and organic nutrients within the larger surrounding clay soil.
Create a Hugel-Kultur in your own garden by digging trenches in the soil and burying fallen branches, stalks, vines, etc. in the hole. The buried material will release moisture into the soil as it decomposes underground.
- You have some spent branches, stalks, vines.
- You dig a trench into the clay soil that is deep enough to contain the organic waste you are burying.
- Fill the trench with your garden waste and back-fill it with the soil you dug out. Stomp it down and cover it with leaves.
- When it rains, this deep trench in the clay will accumulate water like a small pond. It will fill with water and slowly allow the water to seep into the water table. You can put the tiny ponds anywhere you think they will be most useful. Near a prized plant is a great place to locate a hugel-kultur.
- In the moist environment, worms and other soil-dwelling creatures will grow in the soil and then their waste feeds the plants. Everyone wins.
- As it dries out, the buried material releases all of its moisture, so the hugel-kulture will be a pocket of moisture in your garden for a long time.
- If you get too much material, you can get a chipper and chip the material and lay it on top of the soil.