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View Diary: Introduction to Ecological Gardening pt. V: Basic Garden Ecology- Polycultures (39 comments)

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  •  Thanks for the link (2+ / 0-)
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    Ice Blue, FinchJ

    Since my next project is a cabin in the forest, I will have PLENTY of old, rotten logs to use!  I just wish I'd stumbled across this when I was trying to figure out how to build innocuous fencing in the suburbs.  A two-foot high hugelkultur mound with blueberry bushes on top would have done much to save my nerves from the stress of too many neighbors.  As it was, all I used excess logs for was edging my garden beds.  They work for that -- pretty, provide slow breakdown products for the soil, and the cats LOVE them as scratching pads (might be why I've never had any problem from cats scratching up the furniture).  But with twenty acres of forest to work with, I'm going to be up to my hips in rotten logs (too old to burn), and I hate to waste good organic matter.

    I'm thinking . . . steep slope off the front porch, stacking logs crosswise against the slope as an erosion break, cover with leafmold from up the hill, plant the blueberry bushes and cherry trees?  What would be good underplantings to fill the groundcover niche?

    •  That sounds like so much fun! (1+ / 0-)
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      Ice Blue

      Where is your cabin? In order to help choose what to grow, we have to take into consideration latitude, altitude, climate type, hardiness zone, land aspect, precipitation, etc. But the general idea is a great start. Using the logs as "check logs" to form miniature terraces is spot on.

      One thing you don't want to do is build hugelkultur beds on contour. Sepp Holzer (on page 37-38 of Sepp Holzer's Permaculture, links above) states:

      The beds must not be parallel to the slop, otherwise those at the top of the hill will absorb all of the water when it rains, whilst the beds at the bottom will, in the worst case, begin to dry out. Water must be supplied evenly to all of the beds.
      Ahh, a cabin in the woods. Makes me eager for my move to Finland. Can't wait to get my hands on some summer cottages and start designing!

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