Wulf's Webden

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Hugelkultur

I have collected a lot of wood over the past year to feed my log stove and much of it has been processed, seasoned and used. If I stopped collecting now, I would probably have enough to stretch deep into next winter (although, with a recent cold snap, we have been drawing down on stores a bit even at this time of year).

However, I am quite intrigued by the idea of hugelkultur, which involves using logs to provide an underlying structure to raised beds. The idea is that, over time, the wood is gradually decomposes. The process creates a rich, organic environment, freeing up nutrients for plants and providing pockets for air and water to collect in the soil. It is suggested that the heat gain from decomposition, while small, may be enough to contribute to better growth over a longer season.

It would be interesting to try and would certainly give a head start on building height in a raised bed. Obviously I also have other uses for wood but there are some logs that are wide in girth or gnarly in structure and thus difficult to process. Next time I refresh a bed, perhaps I’ll try some of the awkward bits and see if I can put them to a slower use than a quick burn.

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