Huglekultur is a German term for “mound of wood” with soil on top. Here is what happens. The wood absorbs rain like a sponge and slowly releases it into the soil, keeping the bed moist. The wood decomposes and feeds the soil. It adds hummus and encourages worms to live there and turn the soil.


This drawing shows the layers. A trench can be dug, then wood, left over turf or garden debris, then some newspaper or cardboard and then mulch.


What a deal! Yes, it is a bit of work to dig the trench, pile up the wood and cover it. But, a self feeding, self watering raised bed for years! Did I mention NO DIGGING! By the third year it is really working well. After ten years or so, you may have to re-work it, due to the wood decomposing. I thought I would just add some broken branches along, along.

My first Huglekulturs I planted with spaghetti squash. Had a bumper crop! And I only watered it when I planted it,  All of the raised beds I am creating in this Permaculture vegetable garden will be Huglekulturs. It has the added benefit of using up downed trees and broken branches.

A ral life Hugle.

A real life Hugle.

Here is one in progress.

Pile of wood.

Pile of wood.

Then the dirt.

Almost finished!

Almost finished!

All these pictures are not of my garden. I forgot to take pictures as I made it a couple years ago. But, I wanted to tell you about Huglekultur.




Huglekultur — 2 Comments

  1. This is something that I thought looked interesting and want to try. Can it be done on a smaller scale with just fallen tree branches etc?

    • Yes, it could be done with just tree branches. The dirt on Huglekultures sifts down eventually and you have to top them off with more dirt. Tree branches would decompose faster, and may create the same.
      Give it a try, if nothing else, it will add more bio mass.

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