A hugelkultur bed is a method mastered by Sepp Holzer, where wood is layed down, mounted and covered with dirt and other organic matter. Methods vary; you can simply place the wood on the ground and build from there or alternatively, you may also build a trench first.

As the wood rots within the bed, its capacity to hold water increases, while also naturally creating types of beneficial fungi and a hospitable home to various worms and other micro-organisms. This way, you very quickly, but continually enrich the soil, with the need for watering decreasing too. It is almost a self-feeding, self-watering system requiring little maintenance and especially suited to the sustenance of plants from less arid zones.

At River Farm we have an issue with flooding and so decided to try our own ‘hugelkultur’ to see if we can beat the flood waters ruining our vegetable garden.

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