No Till Method for Hugelcultur

This hugelcultur is the first one I made in my life. So for sure I did many mistakes. I didn’t straighten the hills, I didn’t put enough compost, didn’t plant enough clover, used wrong mulch – fall leaves. Nature took its turn and planted all with available plants – strong and sturdy pioneers. They formed soil and fixed some nutrients. Now I am taking my turn to use it. Plus we are in the big city of Montreal. Wood chips from tree trimmings, cardboard from stores, soil from excavations (sometimes of excellent quality) are ready available as “garbage”.

leveling the bed with manure and decomposed wood chips

leveling the bed with manure and decomposed wood chips

First I slightly chop the current vegetation and level the bed with manure and decomposed wood chips.

Raised bed covered with moistened cardboard

Raised bed covered with moistened cardboard

Than I cover it with moistened cardboard.

Cardboard covered with soil from excavatoins

Cardboard covered with soil from excavatoins

Than a layer of top soil. We have it from excavations. Than a layer of compost. I stop on this though they usually use more layers in no-till gardening.

Hugelcultur covered with straw

Hugelcultur covered with straw

Than I cover it with the classic mulch  – straw bedding from the chicken coop. So my plants have fertilizer with each rain.

Straw is my best mulch so far. It does not fly with a wind, it’s light, it lets sprouts grow through, it holds moisture well.

 

Then chickens come and de-mulch everything. Chickens are apparently notorious de-mulchers.