Blooming and Bold

Without the buzzards and bees

Where would we bee?

A blog by Nicolle Kuna

A blog about sustainable landscaping and some eco-humour and eco-creativity.

Inside this blog we look at everything that is encroaching in to our natural urban landscapes – outdoor rooms (errchkem), weeds, urban noise, excess nutrientsThere’s a bit of art to add extra colour and inspiration. We believe in making sustainability fun - more gaming, less shaming.

Also see website on social marketing for greenies

To contact us – go to the contact us page as the contact facility on this blog has been giving us mischief.

Attribution for above garden design goes to

Andrew Jones, talented artist and designer.

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Sunday, 19 June 2016

Hugelkultur Progress (Australia)

My Hugelkultur is going strong twelve months on (poetically put, I might add).

Winter has kicked in later than usual. Yesterday I took my bike for a ride along the Merri Creek and around to a Community Garden in Brunswick and I checked out a few of the basil plants in the shared garden and they were well and truly 'kaput' - 'finito'.
It's winter in Melbourne and the basil on the Hugelkultur is hanging in there.  I gave some to my friend last week when he took me out for my birthday and we enjoyed the basil from the same clump in a salad last night. When I planted it up I read online - having a Hugel Kultur 'might' prolong the growing season and yes, I'm very glad to say my Hugelkultur is living proof today that the growing media MUST BE warmer as my basil is still growing (well wilting a bit under the 8 degree conditions). The other benefit about a hugelkultur is that because it's a raised planting bed - there is more tilt towards the sunlight than the lower plants get.

See the comparison photos. The Endive recently planted in pots and in the Hugelkultur. The Endive in the Hugelkultur is growing two or three times as fast.

There is also the wicking bed (wicker bed?) effect whereby I now rarely have to water it. These mounds are a brilliant invention emanating from Eastern Europe I believe.  I must admit the vegie plants were getting established over the summer and they did require the usual daily watering but since Autumn I've rarely watered the HK.   The lettuces didn't do so well, but then a lot of them got 'ET' by the possums.

What people may not have grasped is the Hugelkultur is a planting mound built up on rotting wood, decomposing branches and twigs, leaves, compost, soil - as long as the materials are not alleopathic (like Eucalyptus, black walnut) and provided they are fully dead - otherwise they will sprout through the mound.

One of the disadvantages is the erosion. As I have a strained wrist - too many years of landscaping and home maintenance - I have only topped it up with compost from time to time so it has sunken down a bit. Next one which I will build with HELP will have more straw added to maintain the height.

Ideally you need two people to build it!

Hugelkulturs RULE!   They are a tree recycler,  carbon sequestration media, self-watering and give plants a longer time for harvesting.  Plus they are great if you have a small garden because you build up not just out.