Back to building raised beds, so I added a third row of block to my 6×6 concrete bed:
6×6 raised bed
I only managed 2 rows of block plus fill before 40 inches of snow at the end of December.
This photo shows some dead wood I tossed in to make a second layer of decomposing wood. The first 16 inches has another layer of wood. These dead pieces soak water up like a sponge and plant roots work into the woods for water.
Hugelkultur is a form of raised beds and soil enrichment that comes from northern lands where there are few deciduous trees to donate leaves for compost. The northern taiga is perfect for this. So is my pinyon-juniper food forest in New Mexico’s mountains.
The vast forests of the Pacific Northwest, with their high rainfall turns every fallen giant into a Hugelkultur bed covered with moss, lichen, fern, rhododendrons, and blueberries and huckleberries, plus more delights. When I planted my blueberries here in New Mexico, I created a deadwood-filled hugelkulture bed. Raised, of course.
Many of the nutrients are leached out of the soil in the Pacific Northwest’s heavy rains, but logs decompose slowly and hold nutrients for their piggybacking forest plants. During the Pacific Northwest’s dry summers, these decomposing logs also hold water for the moisture-loving plants that live on them.
Few gardeners in the Pacific Northwest mimic the forest’s ways of handling both torrential amounts of water followed by summer drought every year, but it works better than any other system I have seen. It is also a no maintenance method of both watering and fertilizing your beds. Nothing like an entire tree for adding organic matter.
So whether you have a 130 foot Douglas fir or limbs fallen from a 20 foot Pinyon Pine, burying the dead wood in your flower beds or vegetable garden benefits you and the plants.
Tomorrow I will empty bags of pine needles and fall leaves that I picked up from a friend in Albuquerque. To top it off and dribble into the holes, I will continue to dig out the cutout where my partly underground cabin will be and use that soil to fill.
I also moved 4 concrete blocks for the raised bed adjacent to this one. I intended to match the patio beds at 24 inches width, but went with 32 inches instead.
32 inches narrows the pathway between the two beds and discourages adding potted plants along the wider path. Cannot imagine who would be tempted by extra pots, but I just blocked the idea!