Food Production

Germans Know a Century Old Weed Free Way of Gardening, and Here it is

hugelkultur

Every year weeds are a huge problem for many gardeners, landscapers, pretty much anyone that does anything with growing their own food. Weeds can wreak havoc on gardens, and quickly discourage new gardeners from gardening at all. Many get overwhelmed with weeds and just abandon their gardens all together.

Hugelkultur, the German word for “hill culture,” is the ideal method for the farmer/grower looking for a unique and practical way to grow a weed-free and healthy garden. This method of planting has been used for centuries in Germany and Eastern Europe and allows for greater biodiversity, moisture-control, convenient harvesting, less maintenance, and saves the need to till.

Conventional farmers may have a really hard time with this growing method because they know rotting wood steals nitrogen until it’s fully decomposed (when it then releases it back to the soil). Well, this is a bit different. The wood itself will slowly decompose; meanwhile, it becomes a hotel for beneficial microbes and amazing fungi.

Microbes are not only extremely important, but they also are extremely interesting little organisms! They can help roots acquire nutrients, such as phosphate. Some microbes can even kill Salmonella, making your food safer. Microbes also help protect plants from the nasty wars going on in your soil. A hugelkultur garden houses all of these microbes, furnishing them with everything they need to be healthy and strong.

Are you ready to build your hugel bed?

Building the Hugel Bed

  • Make a trench if you find it convenient; it will help hold water.
  • Insert logs (most efficient if you cut the larger logs into sections and face them up like stumps in the ground) or lay them flat.
  • Pack in all the open spaces with branches and twigs.
  • Add some wood chips if you would like.
  • Cover with a minimum of 8 inches of soil.

Source: Off the Grid News

Short on garden space? Watch how this family grows 6,000 pounds of food with just 1/10th of an acre.


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