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Hugelbed Diary: Mountains of Food

The hugelbed’s first growing season. Success or what?

The third hugelbed diary, shot on 28 July 2016 (see the previous ones here). The last episode saw a finished bed with a few careful seed leaves showing through the straw. This episode… a bed exploded into greenness and HUGE plants. I expected plants to grow, but like this? Nope!

What next?

That this bed would be so successful in its first season is a surprise already. But what the future will hold may be even more interesting.

Ideally many of the plants will self-seed this summer and autumn, and a good mix of those seeds should germinate next spring to grow into very healthy plants. If that works well over a few years, the different kinds of plant will move ever more towards their preferred niche in the bed, each seeking its ideal exposure to the elements, and its ideal level of moisture (the bed is wetter towards the base). Eventually that could mean a bed which maintains itself to some extent at least.

Some work will almost certainly be needed though, especially the first few years. Some seeds might be so successful that they will tend to take over and outcompete others. In that case some selective pulling will be required. Also, some removing of unwanted plants (some call those weeds) will probably be unavoidable.

But how exactly this will all work out, I cannot predict. So by no means is this diary finished. Please keep an eye on us.

Hugelbed with produce

This is what a hugelbed can look like in its first growing season.