Hügelkultur, literally mound bed or mound culture, is a horticultural technique where a mound constructed from decaying wood debris and other compostable biomass plant materials is later planted as a raised bed.

In my Pandemic-boredom and while meandering around YouTube, I found an Australian gardener,  Mark, at "Self Sufficient Me".  That is his Hügelkultur video.  His videos are good, but I am envious of his growing season down there, eh?

I thought:  "I could do that"!  So...I had a plan and a big pile of lumber from a past planned-but-never-started deck expansion (I was lazy).  Add that itching-palm feeling you get when you are a Wiscoinsin gardener in March.  What better way to spend our stay-safer-at-home days, eh?
It's my garden upgrade and I was inspired.

Hügelkultur - 2024
Lots changing...added several Cattle 
Tank raised beds...doing well!
And the best news yet...I am building a 12x16 Cattle Panel Hoop Greenhouse!
I will be adding some photos of my design soon!

Our gardens changed over the years...


After...July 7, 2020

Plan A:  I called it my Secret Victory Garden.  My intrepretation of Hügelkultur will consist of eight "layers" in a raised-garden bed.
I was on a mission...follow me!

Started building on April 13...one week into the stay-at-home order.  We still had cold evenings...and frost.  The base is gravel and sand for good drainage.

The raised bed is 15'x4'x36".
When done, I had lumber left, so I made another 6'x4'x32".  Thus, Plan B.

Layer one is about eighteen inches of wood chunks (stumps) and branches.  The wood will act like a sponge to hold moisture and slowly decay, adding nutrients, and probably some heat in that decay process.

The next layer is about five inches of tightly-packed wood chips.
Plan C:  All of the above PLUS deck expansion to add a place from which to admire our work.

The next layer is about 3 inches of oak and maple leaves which had been composted for about 5 years.  All was tamped-down well.  All subsequent layers will be kept loose.

Laying out the deck.

Next layer is a year's-worth of kitchen scraps from our Compost Spinner.

Next layer is about four inches of garden soil...mixed well.

Next layer is about five inches of potting soil mixed with about three inches of peat.  The soil feels so wonderful!  
The last layer will be fine cedar mulch, after the drip irrigation lines are laid.

I still had some lumber left...so I might as well add more flower beds.  I mean...there's no such thing as too many flower beds, eh?  Plan D.

Cleaned-up the garden and amended the soil with Cow manure and peat, laid fabric, and pinned it down.
I installed a twenty-foot length of Cattle Panel (only $23) as the perfect arch for the climbing beans.  Drip irrigation lines are laid.

That little garden turned out nice...but then I had to extend the deck a little more to meet the bed (Plan E).  Also installed a new Bottle Tree arch for the planned Black-eyed Susan Vines.

Started planting stuff...and arranging...the fun part!

The Bottle Tree Hummingbird Feeder and Sedum garden looks good.  I planted another circle of a darker variety this year.  The Mother Hens and Chicks have taken over the edges.  

Strawberries in containers.  New for us and doing well.  The source of some of the berries Lori has used in her cooking creations, like Strawberry Cake, Strawberry Jam, and Strawberry Rhubarb Pie.  I am so spoiled!

We are going to have beans and peas!

Sophie and her box in her Catio...and the birds in their cage.  Their names are Bird #1, Bird #2, and Bird #3.  Everyone is enjoying some outside-time while watching me work!

Stuff started growing so fast!

Sophie has a frog-friend.  They will sit like that for hours.  The frog comes to visit her.  I had originally found the frog IN the Catio WHILE Sophie was in there.  Sophie was just watching the frog from her box.

That sprinkler head came down.  I designed a complete smart drip irrigation system for all of the gardens and planters.  And of course...it's computer/smartphone controlled...smiles.

Watchin it grow!

Our first dinner on the new deck.  Bacon/Mushroom/Avocado/Swiss burger just off the grill...with fries.  Side of an Avocado, tomato, onion, and cucumber salad...and a Leinie's Summer Shandy. 

Adding walkway.  In my 25 years here, a silly goal was to be able to walk around the house in my bare feet, without stepping on grass or stones.  Well...I am now only about fifteen short and will get it done this year.  A man's gotta have goals, eh?  Smiles.  Plan F.

Loving it!

Those are little red and white  potatoes growing in those five-gallon buckets abd bags.  Another experiment that looks like it will produce!

Sapphire...Shaken...not stirred!

We are going to have cucumbers!

Lori was making fresh salsa with OUR herbs.  Add a cold Coffee Stout.

It's Coming together.

After a fresh Summer rain.

Happy Hens and Chicks!

Beans...Beans...the magical fruit.

Smoke in the air on this very early Saturday Summer morning.

I love the smell of a campfire in the morning!

Happy Cukes and Potatoes!

The Passion Flower and the Moonflower blooms continuously!

Everything looks happy.  And so much Basil...and herbs.  PESTO!

I added some LED lights to the deck.  All Smart lighting, of course.

I have had as many as six Moonflower blooms at a time.

Most years, we have had a family garden party about this time.  I always enjoyed the gathering and loved sharing the gardens.  So...here I am...with this pandemic...all dressed-up and no where to go, eh?  We raise our glasses to family and friends.

But...Lori and I are still enjoying the romance of Summer...so...it's not a total waste, eh?

Another Passion Flower...and so many buds!
Meanwhile...still keeping our heads low at home.

Am feeling so fortunate!

The new gardens...kinda complete.  I will add some more images as things go.

So...in the mean time.
Cheers to you all.
Be safe!

As big as dinner plates...

We added three 140-gal. Cattle Tanks.
Also Hügelkultur!

Our Potatoes-in-a-Bag!
We get about 5 pounds per bag.
Reds, Whites, Yellows, and Purples!

And nothing better than going out to dig for small red potatoes for breakfast, eh?

Extended the raised bed a bit...
We LOVE the Griddle.  Still working on the cabinetry below! 

Moderate success with the

We had so many Jalapenos...we were giving them away like the Zucchini...smiles.

Take a look at My Secret Garden Walk.
See my gardens at different times of the year in a walk-through in Photos and Video.
Link to it...and my other websites are below...