Tag Archives: hugelkultur

Garden work on hot Summer days.

8 Jun

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Hi folks! The big news is that we have a polytunnel. Yippee! We bought it from the Galway based Polytunnels Ireland. They arrived yesterday morning at 10.15. Started work at 10.30 and had the whole job done by 1.30. Yeah…that’s right…all done from scratch in 3 hours. Hardest working guys in seen in ages. They only stopped to drink water and an occasional few minutes in the shade. It was a really hot day… 27 celsius…so the plastic is really tight.

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Today was also very hot but I couldn’t resist starting to mulch in there. We will use the no-dig method to make the beds. First a good thick mulch of cardboard and newspapers…then the manure will go on…and lastly compost on top and it’s ready for planting.

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We now have 3 hugelkultur beds made. One with Onions…one with Black Tuscan Kale and the last one planted today with Peas. There’s nothing to beat home-grown Peas. These are Daniel O’Rourke… an old Irish variety. I shall also save seeds from these at the end of the season.

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Andy was feeling the effects of the sun today so he chose a job under shade. He sorted out all the wood from the Poplar tree we had felled some weeks ago. The big logs were put in a big pile to season and all the small branches he sawed up and put in the fuel shed. In the country one always has to think ahead to Winter fuel supplies. This lot should be ready to use by September.

Temperatures are set to return to 19 celsius by Monday.A  better temperature for tunnel work.

Hugelkultur.

21 May

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This area at the bottom of the garden was going to be a greenhouse built by the previous owners of our house.  However the greenhouse never happened…it would cost a pretty penny to built a greenhouse this size.017

We decided to clear the area and make veg beds there. Hugelkultur is something I have been reading about for some time. It is a permaculture technique where rotting wood is buried then covered with soil to make a rounded top bed. Lots of old wood lying about so we decided to give it a go. I have seen videos of people building the beds very wide and high too but as we intend making 4 beds in this area we kept them to 4 feet wide. The outside edges of the foundation will serve as sides for the beds. For the internal divisions we used old scaffolding sleepers which we bought for 3 euros each.

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We then put any old wood lying about in the bottom of the bed.  After reading up about the technique the consensus is that it’s better to use wood that has already started to rot as it doesn’t use up as much nitrogen to break down. The rotting wood also emits some heat so that could extend the growing season a little.

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Compost is then piled on and worked down between any spaces.

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More compost on top and there you have it. A nice bed ready for planting.

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There was really heavy rain after we’d made the bed so that helped it to settle. Before planting another barrow of compost was piled on top and raked in.

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Onion sets were planted in our first hugelkultur bed.

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I like to plant them fairly close so that I can use every second one as spring onions or scallions as we Irish call them. Only 3 more beds to go and our first section of vegetable garden is done.

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