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HomeHomePermaculture in...Permaculture in...Spokane Permacu...Spokane Permacu...hugel beds, season extenders, et alhugel beds, season extenders, et al
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4/3/2014 11:14 AM
---I thought I would share some news about the various experiments going on in our garden so far.
---Hugel bed internal temps stayed consistently at 40F over the winter. Now that I have covered them with 6-mil plastic sheeting (non-greenhouse plastic), soil temp has climbed to 50F, about the threshold for germination for some seeds. NOTE: 6 mil "visqueen", while half the price of greenhouse plastic, is, I think too thick and opaque. It does hold in the heat but cuts out too much light. I am going to swap it out for 4 mil visqueen. Apologies to the work crew who came and covered all of the hugel beds with it.
---Our straw bale trial using barley straw, is sprouting barley a month BEFORE it is time to start conditioning them in preparation for planting. I guess I will just "chop and drop" until I am ready to prep them. I received 100 shitake mushroom spawn plugs yesterday and plan to put some in the straw bales others in some doug fir logs that will be available once I drop a fir tree in the garden. This might be a particularly efficient approach for urban gardens. My hopes are up for both approaches.
---My lasagna bed, constructed in November according to instructions seems to have gone anaerobic by the smell of things. I hope this works out as a viable approach to building soil from the ground up over clay soils without tilling. I will wait and see this.
---I made two wooden vertical growing bins for potatoes. As the plants grow above a layer of 2x6 I will add another layer of boards and soil until it reaches about 3' or so. Some people claim you can get 100lbs of potatoes from these. If these work it means no more potato beds. Instead, a row of towers, like beehives, producing 100's of lbs of spuds. We shall see.
---I have built a 16' long "teepee" structure of 4' sections that are 8' tall with steel field fencing attached. We will plant climbers of this and see if I can harvest from the inside and I walk under the structure. Another potential space saver.
---The remaining unplanted garden area we will plant next year has been seeded with white clover. In a little while we'll plant this in cowpeas for drying at the end of the season. When this part of the garden is finally planted, we will have 1/3 of an acre in fence and under cultivation. We will then move across the driveway into another 1/3 acre that currently has some raspberries and grapes.
---Finally, while my 3-bin hot compost system works fine and gives me two batches of compost per season, I need a larger volume. To this end I have started a "winrow" compost pile. 30'l x 6'w x 8'h eventually. This will be a slower, 1 year process probably. I will be making it from leaves, coffee grounds and grass clippings from my neighbor who I convinced to change to organic lawn care. She has a huge lawn. I will be able to work this, like my bin system, with the tractor.
---You can see pics and verbiage about all of our experiments and other efforts on our farm Facebook page: Footehill Farm. If any of you ever want to come out and visit or work or play, just contact us. 509-808-3876 or You are always welcome.
HomeHomePermaculture in...Permaculture in...Spokane Permacu...Spokane Permacu...hugel beds, season extenders, et alhugel beds, season extenders, et al

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