Dorothy Feltner reporting in from Lotts Creek Community School.
Composting in situ is that act of growing dirt while growing plants in the same spot. Lotts Creek Learning Garden has been doing just that with its Hugelkultur beds.
In order to create a Hugelkultur bed start with wood on the bottom, then add some finer material like brush or leaves. Add a little manure to get things going. Cover with straw or grass clippings about a foot thick. Let it be exposed to the elements for the a winter. Then, plant away in the spring.
While installing the high tunnel, I had the pleasure of moving one of our Hugelkultur beds. It was really interesting to see inside the bed. The wood had a lot of fungal activity and the layer on top of the wood was turning into dirt. It was also very moist. It’s said that these beds don’t need to be watered, once established. I have founds this to be true so far. Germination does seem to take a bit longer compared to standard ground planting.