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I've got some spare wood from a downed pine tree that's been around for a year. I've asked the local garden labourers to cut the rounds up and stack it on the boundary so I could plant it out.

Should I just dump everything except invasive weeds, tree branches, leaves etc, and then cover it with a huge amount of soil, before planting? Was this a big mistake and should I burn it instead ( cut into firewood and sell) as I read somewhere that pine resins inhibit roots. The pile is currently 5 foot tall and growing, with more native bush to be levelled and added. Is it too tall?

wood pile

  • I have seen youtube vids of 5 to 6 foot piles. I can't remember how much was soil and how much was wood. Search for the Plant Abundance channel on YouTube (or I can provide a link later tonight). He has a 15 min video on one of his Hugelkultur beds which was waist high. He uses decomposed/shredded wood chips as filler then digs out gallon sized holes and puts in native soil about 11in/28cm deep. The depth he digs out is the usual wicking depth for vegetables and annuals. Those are some big logs you have there (left side). I think you are right about the pine wood inhibiting growth. – Charles Byrne May 31 '16 at 16:53
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I've seen in pictures that people dig a small pit, and pile all of the wood in the middle, then put dirt packed on top of it.

You build the wood pit similar to this:
hugelkultur wood pit

The initial look is like this with dirt on top:
1 month

  • Yes, that's the general idea. Though dirt may actually be optional. – Graham Chiu May 31 '16 at 10:59
  • how would things root then? – black thumb May 31 '16 at 16:18
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    They say to just throw in lots of manure. There's another hugelkultur question that talks about this. – Graham Chiu May 31 '16 at 18:47

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