Ancient German Gardening Trick Saves Water!

with 5 comments

Hugelkultur (pronounced “hoogul-culture”) is a way of using woody material such as tree logs, branches, brush, or even wood chips as compost. There are several ways to do it, but the classic technique is to bury a fallen log in a mixture of soil and other compostables such as leaf litter, clippings, scraps…etc. As the wood decomposes it provides food for good soil microbes and fungus which, by their presence, replenish soil nutrients and improve soil structure. The result is a nice patch of fertile ground, great for growing edible or ornamental plants.

Hugelkultur is recommended as a way to generally improve soil wherever soil needs a boost. But one of the best advantages (especially for Texas) is that rotting wood is naturally absorbent. A buried log will soak up water quickly and release it slowly over time, which is great for providing sustained hydration to plants when rainfall is infrequent. Using this method may help reduce the watering requirements for your garden!

For more information see Paul Wheaton’s published article “raised garden beds: hugelkultur instead of irrigation.”

(image: Super Giant Design)

Written by jmalsky

November 18, 2011 at 11:26 am

Posted in Good Ideas

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5 Responses

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  1. garden…


    Home Sun Solar

    November 27, 2011 at 10:29 pm

  2. Hello! Thank you for linking to the graphic artist’s website. Paul Wheaton from (hugelkultur article the artist made the image for) is requesting that you also add a link to the published article:
    Thank you.

    Suzy Bean

    January 3, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    • Hi Suzy,

      I have added a link in the post to his article. Thanks for the image and the info!


      Jessica Malsky
      in.gredients team


      January 4, 2012 at 11:43 am

  3. […] dig in began at dawn. We’ve been shoveling since breakfast, digging/planting a hugelkultur bed and building wicking beds. Here are some quickly-snapped shots of the day so […]

  4. […] are off to a great start at the in.gredients store garden! We completed the hugelkultur beds and planted some tomatoes, basil, hot peppers, sweet peppers, purple tomatillos, zucchini, Thai […]

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