Hugelkultur gardens. Heck, that is just fun to say! This German word means “hill culture”. It is an easy form of raised beds. Some beds can be seven feet tall!
Logs and branches are your foundation. We have branches piled up behind the chicken coop. Doug was going to use them for firewood, but I claimed them for my gardening project! One could dig a trench or place rocks or other materials around the bed to hold it into place. The logs are laid out, filled in with branches, straw, leaves, then topped with gardening soil. The bigger logs take many years to break down and hold on to water. So a seven foot tall bed would never have to be watered, even in the desert! Now, mine will be just a foot or so tall once it settles and shrinks. The microorganisms in the wood benefit and improve the soil. It’s all pretty ingenious. By the time the wood completely breaks down, the soil beneath should be pretty cleaned up.
I’ll have enough materials to make one bed like this. We’ll do many beds of different styles so that we can compare them at the end of the season.