Here’s the fifth stage of our facilitator Jennifer’s progress as she creates a hugelkultur bed at her property.

Step 5 – Adding the Turf
I thought adding the turf would be easy and it was, but it was a little more fiddly than I expected!

When I removed the turf I cut it roughly into squares around the size of my spade blade with a lot of topsoil attached.  These were ok for placing on the peak of the hugelkultur bed and on top of some of the logs along the sides of the bed, tucking them into gaps so they stayed in position.

Jennifer adding turf to the hugelkultur bed

However, I soon ran out of turf!  One of the benefits of a hugelkultur bed is the increased surface area (meaning more room to grow plants) due to it being a tall triangle rather than flat.  This meant that the turf taken from the base was not enough to cover the peaked bed.  I wanted more turf so I turfed around the outside of my hugelkultur bed and placed these turfs on the sides of the hugelkultur bed.  If there wasn’t a log in the right position to hold the turf in place, it fell down and I found a more secure place for it.

In hindsight I think long rectangles of turf with less topsoil attached would have been easier to lay over the top of the hugelkultur bed and these would have stayed in place more securely.

What’s next?
In the next blog, I’ll add more organic compostable material such as grass clippings. If you missed the earlier blogs, here’s where to find them:
1 Getting started
2 Collecting logs
3 Preparing the ground
4 Layering logs


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