Saturday, March 23, 2013

Vertical hugelkultur & wood chips vs horizontal hugel

Here's a quick comparison of fava beans growing in a hugelkultur bed.  The beans were planted in November, about 4 months ago.
The bed pictured, just beyond the fence, is 12'x3'.  The 4' of the bed on the right was my first attempt at hugelkultur. It has mostly horizontally buried logs with no wood chips dug in. The rest of the bed was dug with vertical stumps and wood chips.
No fertilizer was used.

Notice how the fava beans grew much better and thicker in the part of the bed with wood chips and vertical stumps.

Here's a closeup of the favas in the vertical stump & woodchip part of the bed. The stalks are much sturdier and thicker here.

Here's a closeup of the favas in the mostly horizontally buried log portion of the bed.


  1. Do you attribute the difference to the use of wood chips or the vertical vs horizontal orientation of the logs?

  2. It seems that there is a difference between the vertical and horizontally planted fava beans that you have mentioned that vertical plantations are thicker and sturdier.

  3. We are building 50- 4'x 60' Hugel Swales on our organic farm this fall. We are clearing 6 acres right now and stacking hardwoods 4' in length and chipping the rest of the debris for filler. We hope to begin planting winter cover in late October in preparation for Spring 2018.