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Wed May 9, 2018, 11:16 PM

A no till, 103 square foot, raised bed, Hugelkultur garden with worm towers.

As I mentioned in the previous thread, I have already dug a 3' wide X 36' long by 2 1/2' deep trench and had begun to fill it with branches and cardboard last fall. winter came very early and I wasn't able to complete the project and the trench is still filled with water so it's going to be a bit before I can get back to work on it.

In the meantime, I've been doing some thinking which is much easier to do then to dig a 3' wide X 36' long by 2 1/2' deep trench in clay soil.

Once the trench dries out, I'll fill it as compactly as I can with cut to fit small logs and branches from the brush pile while also shoveling in dirt to fill in gaps. When I have reached ground level, I'll lay out sheets of newspaper and cardboard over the filled in trench and about a foot or so past the edges.

With the remaining dirt I had previously dug out, I'll mix that with the contents of my two compost piles to cover an area 36' long X 3' wide X about 8" to 12" high with sloped sides. About nine 12 square foot gardening plots all in a row.

A combination Hugelkultur -JM Fortier raised garden row using Mel Bartholomew's plant spacing ideas if you will.

For the worm towers, I'll place five 5 gallon buckets evenly spaced, more or less, throughout the row. As a 5 gallon bucket is just under 12" in diameter, five of them will reduce the total square footage of the row to 103 square feet.



In the future, I may continue to use this method but instead of digging a 3' wide X 2 1/2" deep X 36' long trench, I'll dig out a 4' W X 4' L X 2 1/2 D bed for a 16 square foot raised bed.

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Reply A no till, 103 square foot, raised bed, Hugelkultur garden with worm towers. (Original post)
Kaleva May 2018 OP
Cracklin Charlie May 2018 #1
mbusby May 2018 #2
Cracklin Charlie May 2018 #4
Kaleva May 2018 #5
Canoe52 May 2018 #3
Kaleva May 2018 #6

Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Wed May 9, 2018, 11:48 PM

1. May I ask the purpose of the "worm towers"?

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Response to Cracklin Charlie (Reply #1)

Thu May 10, 2018, 01:15 AM

2. You want to keep the soil aerated...

...and fertilized. That's where the earth worms come in.

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Response to mbusby (Reply #2)

Thu May 10, 2018, 12:23 PM

4. Let me tell you a story.

My dad composted even back in the 60s.

He wasnít real organized. He would just dig a hole in a certain area of the yard, and bury kitchen waste around the same area. A couple years of that, and he would then dig that area into a new garden. Sometimes veggies, sometimes flowers, one year an apple tree.

Within five years, that Apple tree was producing so much fruit, he would have to prop the branches up with two by fours. People would stop and take pictures of it. It was amazing!

He would go under that tree and dig up fish bait, earth worms 10 inches long!

He was a remarkable gardener, and would have loved those worm towers.

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Response to Cracklin Charlie (Reply #1)

Fri May 11, 2018, 07:59 PM

5. Trying to do a couple of things as simply as I can.

Thought about composting waste in a worm farm that would be located in the basement from which I'd bring the worm castings and worm tea out to the garden but thought that there ought to be an easier way and did some searching on YouTube and found out about worm towers.

Appropriate waste would go straight to the garden rather then down to a worm farm in the basement or to the compost pile behind the storage building.

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Response to Kaleva (Original post)

Thu May 10, 2018, 01:33 AM

3. Mel's great, been using his methods to veggie garden for years.

Donít know if you are aware of it but if you are using a lot of wood in the bottom of the trench, as it decomposes, it will use up the nitrogen from the soil. So be sure to do what you can to add nitrogen back.

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Response to Canoe52 (Reply #3)

Fri May 11, 2018, 08:25 PM

6. Fertilizer Tea from plants, weeds, and grass is very high in nitrogen

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