12

My personal experience is a bit different than what @Bamboo indicates, but I'm not trying to get there by adding kitchen scraps, either. Once upon a time I rented a chipper - it was an overall miserable experience since dis-assembling a pile that was not stacked specifically with chipping in mind is a slow, tedious process, and chippers can be fussy (the ...


6

If its lots of woody stuff, it'll take years to compost down, regardless of any 'greener' additions you may make to the pile to supply nitrogen. Adding kitchen scraps may well increase the risk of unwelcome creatures in the pile as it stands too. If you're not going to use it for hugelkultur, and you want to turn it into useable compost relatively sooner, ...


6

The types of wood that you have mentioned contain tannins that negatively affect the germination and the growth of the plants, nitrogen availability and photosynthesis. They are also toxic for some microorganisms.


6

If you have what is basically an untidy woodpile, it will eventually decompose not by composting but by rotting. However unless you have a very "rot-friendly" climate that may take 20 years or more, and in any case the end product will most likely be full of organisms, like honey fungus or so-called "dry rot", that you don't want to spread around the rest of ...


6

To compost a brush pile in-place you have three problems: Lack of nitrogen. Lack of water. Lack of surface area. One way to solve #1 is to gather lawn clippings or other green matter (leaves, etc) and add them to the brush pile. This will help with #2 as the clippings have water in them, and will act as a sponge to collect and hold rain water. #3 - without ...


5

Palm is a grass. It rots fast. So does not last long. It has a long fiber. It holds water, So is good for wicking water into the soil. It forms a good black mulch & loosens soil. But needs replaced often as low in minerals. So good for growing things for about 6 months. Best used as a soil fiber restorer. We use it here as a mulch. Or let the trees ...


5

Cool question. I did some digging around but could not come up with a definitive answer so here goes with some peripheral reasoning: chopped coir fibres are often used in horticulture as a peat substitute - you know, coconut, palm ... most sources I read where people were trying hugelkultur with palm it was of the nature of an experiment; but of course the ...


4

Have you ever thought of planting some sort of climbing rose or ivy at the base of the pile? This would add beauty and also provide shade to the pile which would speed decomposition.


4

In my hilly area there's clay or heavy clay soil and English walnuts (Juglans regia) grow well. People who've got large orchards amend their soil, but people with one or two trees in their backyard don't do anything, not even fertilizing, so I wouldn't worry too much about planting yours in clay soil. What I'd worry about is drainage because I have seen ...


4

You'll be just fine. Don't go ripping up what you've done due to contrary opinions - Start another couple of beds and compare results if you really want to investigate alternative methods, but having started down one road, don't over-work yourself on second-guessing. While I tend to agree that the hugelkulture approach has gotten a bit faddish, I don't ...


4

I'd recommend using a raised-bed method known as "Lasagna Gardening." Basically, you start with a "smother layer" of wet cardboard or newspaper at the bottom of your bed to kill off and block any plants from growing up into the bed. Then you lay down repeated layers of carbon materials (leaves, shredded paper), nitrogen materials (fresh grass clippings, ...


4

Hugel Kultur beds are basically underground compost heaps. The beds are filled with logs then covered with soil. They provide nutrients, help retain water and as the logs decompose they help aerate the soil underneath. It will take a few years for the logs to decompose. As they do the raised bed will get shorter so keep that in mind about how much volume ...


3

Branches and twigs are terrible for the compost bin. I put them in when I was new to composting and not only does it take a long time to break down but it also gets in the way of turning the pile. I would not recommend using branches and twigs in your compost bin unless you can shred those into very small pieces. I generally just put those in my green bin ...


3

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


3

The majority of plant roots are only within the top 4 -6" of the surface. Roots that go deeper are for support not uptake of water and chemicals. Nutrients/chemicals the plant needs to continue photosynthesis in order to make its own food are taken up in a liquid solution. There are more than a few problems with your bed formation. Un-decomposed organic ...


2

Jamin, I support you in your determination to welcome Juglans regia in your yard, however, I believe you would be better off, in this case, doing much less work. It is a large tree, and, eventually, a vast majority of its roots will be in the ground that you did not change. The success of the tree will depend on microclimate, and existing soil, and these ...


2

Particleboard is an engineered wood product composed of wood fibres and chunks mixed in with a binder and pressed flat. The wood fibre is just cellulose and will rot down, however the binder is the equivalent of putting a bunch of plastic into the pile. It does not rot. There have evidently been some experiments to grind up and compost such board and as the ...


1

The King Strophoria (Stropharia rugosa-annulata) (aka Wine Cap) is ideally suited for this. I'm not exactly sure why you would want manure under chips for the path - it seems like this would dramatically speed up the decomposition of the chips and increase the need to replenish. That said, you could easily intercrop with Wine Caps in the wood chip paths ...


1

Since mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of hidden mycelial networks then they don't suit the square foot gardening paradigm which allocates a square foot for different plants as mushrooms need to be grown as a monoculture if you want a decent crop. The larger the network the more resilient the mushrooms are as they act as a single organism. So you don't want ...


1

Jamin, yes you can grow trees in berms. 94% of all plant roots get their chemistry and water from the top 6". Deeper roots are for support, not for sustenance. Your berm needs to be compacted get the large pockets of air removed before planting your trees. Depending on your zone, you should also insert 3 OR 4" PVC pipe drilled with holes near the root ...


1

If it is organic and dead it is decomposing. My problems with this Hugelkultur are; 1) As long as the decomposing is happening which will be years, the decomposers require lots of nitrogen and the other micro and macro organisms go dormant until there is DECOMPOSED organic matter to 'eat', 2) When this matter finally decomposed that 'hill' or raised bed ...


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