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Thread: hugelkultur: the ultimate raised garden beds

  1. #16
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    Excellent, thank you thetimeisright. I imagine there are several kinds which will work well here. We have a combination of sand and clay and very hard dirt. I have a couple spots where I've been composting and they have nice dark soil. But, as the article mentions, it's hard to have enough.

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    Did some work today. Moved some cut logs, fortunately mostly just into place rather than to another place. There are some smaller ones to layer on top.

    I found some octopus stinkhorn in the process.

    The next area on the list has logs in place, and lots of branches nearby/over which need to be cut. That will be interesting since it's near the stream yet in a higher spot.

    Another interesting job will be to remove an old tarp from from some very rotten logs which will be a foundation. I'll have to keep an eye out for spiders and snakes. Oh my.

    I also moved some flagstones for a path to the stream. Found a big spider there. No snakes, thankfully.

    The rain from this year has changed the stream bed in amazing ways.

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    I collected some persimmon fruit yesterday. We have one persimmon tree which blooms but doesn't fruit. It needs a mate. Turns out it's a bit of a process to get the seeds ready. I could stratify them in the fridge or just plant them over winter. I might do both.

    The trees are just now dropping leaves at a measurable pace. Time to start raking and piling. Leaves have been a great way to stop erosion in certain areas near the stream. We've dumped a bunch of leaves in a couple spots and the stream has moved away from the eroding bank. It has worked very well.

    Does anyone know how to stop brown rot on stone fruit trees? I have a copper spray but I didn't manage to control it this year. I'd sure like the fruits to ripen instead of rotting at the halfway point. It didn't used to happen with the apricots. Those would get eaten by the deer just before they were ripe enough. But that tree died.

    Persimmons are apparently deer candy. We'll see how it goes.

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  7. #19
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    I've worked a good bit more and my husband is helping by adding clippings to the mounds. I have bulbs to plant next which means lots of digging. I sure wish the humidity would abate. It's October and still feels like September.

    I'm still contemplating whether to stratify the persimmon tree seeds in the fridge or just plant them and let them winter in the ground. Maybe I'll split the difference. I got around 30 seeds out of a handful of fruit. I also found some stone fruit seeds I had saved, I'm not sure how viable they are but I'll try planting them as well.

    Some of the seeds I saved I forgot to label. I can figure out what most are but I have some mystery pods. Tree or bush, not sure.

    I'll post some pictures eventually. Right now I have to download photos and clear my memory card.

    I haven't tried the three sisters approach yet, so I'll give that a go this spring.

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    This is from the Farmers Almanac:

    To try them in your garden, in spring, prepare the soil by adding fish scraps or wood ash to increase fertility, if desired.


    Make a mound of soil about a foot high and four feet wide.

    When the danger of frost has passed, plant the corn in the mound. Sow six kernels of corn an inch deep and about ten inches apart in a circle of about 2 feet in diameter.

    When the corn is about 5 inches tall, plant four bean seeds, evenly spaced, around each stalk. About a week later, plant six squash seeds, evenly spaced, around the perimeter of the mound.

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    The most traditional version of the three sisters would be for crops which are stored over winter. With care, summer beans and squash can be used, but the vines are easily crushed by feet.

    ...the upright element is traditionally corn, but sunflowers or grain sorghum make interesting alternatives. Also Amaranth.

    Sunflowers make great companions for fast-growing, heavy beans.

    Space-saving squash varieties like ‘Ponca’ butternut are useful where space is tight.

    Putting the sunflowers on the north side helps to prevent too much shading while inviting pollinators.

    ...with spaghetti squash by the beans, deer and other pests have a hard time finding the beans. Use pole beans (not bush beans)

    Bee balm and tobacco were also traditionally grown near the three sisters.

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