Author Topic: 'Woody beds' and climate  (Read 968 times)

Offline mlorne

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'Woody beds' and climate
« on: February 20, 2013, 12:23:44 PM »
Just finished listening to Jack's podcast about woody beds on contours.  One thing he mentioned quickly was "if you live in Vermont, where you get lots of rain, and even lots of moisture during the winter, then you may be able to do this without the wood core."

I am moving to our new homestead in August and am trying to figure out how to best layout the growing space.  We have a very sloped landscape that would lend itself to swales and/or contour beds with pathways (a la Jack's method).  We get on average 3.5" - 6.5" rain per month during the growing months.  To further complicate issues, we have very sandy soil (about 65 sand, 25 silt, 10 clay) that accepts the water, but the rain tends to move straight down into the soil rather than running down a slope.

Do you think I would be better off with swales and conventional beds laid out on the berm following contour, or would a woody bed be beneficial?

Thanks for the help!

Offline Skunkeye

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Re: 'Woody beds' and climate
« Reply #1 on: February 25, 2013, 02:51:11 PM »
The wood in hugelkultur-type beds isn't solely there to store water.  That's one of its functions, but it also promotes the growth of many beneficial bacteria and fungi that improve the soil fertility and the ability of plants to access that fertility.  If you have suitable materials on hand, I think I'd go with the wood bed.