hill culture or hill mound
Hugel bed construction ~
~ This mound is created from organic matter grading from large logs in the trench at the bottom, diminishing in size to twigs and brash, building in layers to a thatched or soil top covering.
~ In between the layers you can add petroleum-free newspaper, cardboard, straw, hay, leaf mould, grass clippings, and high nutrients like wormery tea, compost or manure; what ever appropriate organic matter you have available.
~ The finished mound is a no-dig bed ready for planting.
~ The wood decays at a slow enough rate to offer a constant, long-term store of nutrients that will be released for whatever plants are growing in the mound. Some large hugel-beds have been known to be ‘active’ for 20 years or more.
~ The growing season could be extended due to the heat generated by the composting wood.
~ The break down and settling of the wood helps to increase soil aeration so there will be no need to till.
~ Rotting wood becomes sponge like, drawing in rainwater and storing it for releasing when needed, giving the benefit of not having to water again after the first year except during a long term drought.
~ Carbon is drawn into the soil.
Further details can be obtained from, amongst many source, “The Many Benefits of Hugelkulture” ~ www.permaculture .co.uk ~ 17th October 2013