Author Topic: Hugelkultur in buckets?  (Read 6419 times)

Offline NorIDhunter

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Hugelkultur in buckets?
« on: October 18, 2011, 07:53:40 AM »
I'm sure there's some threads/links here somewhere, just can't find 'em yet. A "buckets" search has too many results to get through them all.

I'm starting some 4 gal bucket plantings of sugar snap & bush peas for the greenhouse/indoor as the snow isn't far away here in ID. I've got soil and compost mixed but am thinking about putting a chunk of rotting fir from the woods, approx 2 1/2" dia x 6-7" length, into the middle of each to act as a moisture sink along the lines of an hugelkultur raised bed. I'm planning to do 6 buckets with the wood and 10 without for comparisons.
Any opinions, experiences, links greatly appreciated. Otherwise I'll share my results in the weeks & months ahead. Thanks!     

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Hugelkultur in buckets?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2011, 08:46:29 AM »
First off, don't let anything I say deter you from doing this experiment.  I'd be interested in hearing the results.

But my initial thought is why bother?  I would think that the ability to retain moisture would not be seen since it is already in a bucket that holds the water already. 

The rotting wood would also steal the nitrogen out of the soil in the bucket.  In the ground, this isn't really a big deal since it will eventually find its way back into the soil, but a bucket has a very limited amount of nutrients.

But like I said, I'd be very interested in the results you actually experience.

Offline Illini Warrior

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Re: Hugelkultur in buckets?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2011, 02:31:21 PM »
check under "container gardening" ...... "greenhouses" ....... "hothouses" ...... and even "hydroponics"

Offline NorIDhunter

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Re: Hugelkultur in buckets?
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2012, 06:52:09 AM »
Followup from last fall;
Although Jack and most others say the concept doesn't work, the evidently "something" good is going on here. The "Hu" buckets w/ sugar peas are clearly outperforming the "non".
So much so that I was able to transplant one bucket to a tire planter I have right outside the green house door.
Others will stay in the buckets for continued study. These pix have been e-mailed to Jack as well.









Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Hugelkultur in buckets?
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2012, 07:19:48 AM »
Looks good.  So did you go with the chunk of fir like you were initially going to do?  Was it rotted?  Any other details?

Offline NorIDhunter

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Re: Hugelkultur in buckets?
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2012, 03:21:17 PM »
Yes, I did use the rotting Alpine/white fir chunks and when I transplanted the ones to the tire planter, the root ball was mainly built up around it.
A partial response from Jack was "The thing is all you have done is create a water reservoir, two buckets with a wick would do the same thing... if it works for you great but it isn’t “Hugelkultur” it is a self-watering container"
True enough, but I would offer that there was no cost for the fir chunk and that at a cost of $2 @ bucket, I have saved myself $12 and given myself the opportunity to double my growth by having more containers available.

It may not be 'hugelkultur" per se but imo it is working - so far.  ;D


Offline Scottman

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Re: Hugelkultur in buckets?
« Reply #6 on: April 22, 2012, 05:33:23 PM »
Interesting! Great post.

Clarification: how did you save 12 dollars?

Offline Nicodemus

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Re: Hugelkultur in buckets?
« Reply #7 on: April 22, 2012, 06:03:33 PM »
Very interesting, NorIDhunter. It's about the opposite of what I would expect. Thanks for sharing!

Offline NorIDhunter

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Re: Hugelkultur in buckets?
« Reply #8 on: April 26, 2012, 10:11:58 AM »
Clarification: how did you save 12 dollars?
Jack's response via e-mail was that the same thing could be accomplished using another bucket and a wick.
The $12 savings comes from the 6 additional buckets that it would take for this experimental setup to just hold water in that method.

Offline NorIDhunter

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Re: Hugelkultur in buckets?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2012, 04:41:41 PM »
Hey all, I'm going to be so presumptuous to assume that Jack was referring to my project in the Holzer podcast 901. So here's some current pix
Here's 3 out of the 6 of each set (sorry not 10 each)






The ones w/ the wood (back row/on the right) continue to perform better and temp are now in the 90's in the greenhouse.

Just doin' it, folks. hope y'all are too!  :)
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 04:52:12 PM by NorIDhunter »

Offline Scottman

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Re: Hugelkultur in buckets?
« Reply #10 on: May 16, 2012, 03:56:13 PM »
Sweet!

So you're just using regular soil, with a bucket with no holes on the bottom, with rotten wood on the bottom of the bucket?


Offline Scottman

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Re: Hugelkultur in buckets?
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2012, 11:56:06 AM »
bump

Offline NorIDhunter

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Re: Hugelkultur in buckets?
« Reply #12 on: May 29, 2012, 09:08:26 PM »
Woo hoo! It was Memorial day and we had fresh peas for dinner, don't think we've ever had 'em this early.
The buckets w/o the chunks will have some edible pods shortly but as you can see the "Hu" bucket on the left is taller, fuller w/ larger leaves and nice sweet pods.


Scotman, the buckets do have eight 1/4" inch holes drilled in the bottom for drainage, the soil is just from the greenhouse excavation site mixed 60/40 with kitchen scrap/grass clipping compost from our bin, there's about 4-5" of dirt, then the rotten white fir pieces with more dirt piled over that.
The only difference is the fir chunks. Everything else between the buckets is identical.

Offline Scottman

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Re: Hugelkultur in buckets?
« Reply #13 on: May 30, 2012, 12:59:16 AM »
Thanks!

I think your 5 gallon buckets are probably better for this, I have some 3.5 ones I'd like to try it in too.

Offline Scottman

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Re: Hugelkultur in buckets?
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2012, 04:57:39 AM »
How often do you water these? Thanks.