Questions & Comments


If you have any general comments or questions that don't relate to a particular post, you can post them here.


  1. A reader sent this question in via email. Posting it here as others might be interested also:

    "Hello. I've recently read quite a lot from you at permies and on your blog. I appreciate that you give such excellent detail regarding your hugel experiments. I was wondering, if by chance, you'd done any container planting of sunchokes? I think I would like to use a similar set up that you have for the stumppot. This way I could move them around, and I could contain the rampant growth.
    Any insight would be helpful."


    Never tried sunchokes in a container before. A stumppot might have a couple limitations for what you mentioned:

    1. They are very, very heavy. I had a 10" length by 10" diameter stump in my tub. When watered I'd need a dolly to move it around.

    2. The stump took up most of the container volume, so if you are growing the sunchokes for there roots this might limit it.

    After examining all my tubs, I found the bottoms too wet and the tops too dry.

    So next year for a lightweight tub I'm going to try roughly this.

    Top 2": wood chip mulch.

    Next 2-3": 80-90% broken up well rotted wood and/or cut up corn cobs, 10-20% old mix or compost. This should help keep the top layer from drying out and help keep even moisture across the entire surface.

    Next 6": 50% leaves, 50% old mix. (for the leaves, will mix some fast decaying, some slow. i.e. will not use just redwood needles and/or oak leaves, will add maple and dry grass also).

    Bottom 6": 80% leaves, 20% old mix.

    Punch lots of holes in the bottom of the tub. And elevate the tub an inch or two with blocks or bricks so air can get to into the bottom holes.

    Any organic fertilizer of your choice should work well.

    I'd guess this should work for sunchokes, but haven't tried it yet.


  2. From Strawberryhill in Organic Roses Forum: Where do you buy those blue containers that you planted your veges in? Thank you in advance.

  3. I found your experiments with vertical wood in pots re: eggplants through your posts on permies.come. It is fascinating! This is exactly what we need... to try and assess various methods in various situations, as I don't think we have time to waste on less efficient growing methods :) I'm applying the vertical wood idea in a subsoil areas I made by lowering areas, to create level terraces. I'm too lazy to do a complete dig-up, so am using my trusty post hole digger to go deep, and first put in biochar (Trader Joe's practically-organic bbq briquettes, soaked in HLF ;) for nutrient and water retention, plus bentonite clay (very cheap nothing-added clay kitty litter) (suggested as an amendment by Elliott Coleman, per German studies) for water retention (may put clay between wetted sheets of newspaper...I have a hoard.. and roll up ;), then insert vertical wood (I think I'll have to fill open spots with wood chips or twigs), and top off with kitchen scraps (anointing each addition with HLF, and refilling a bit with excavated subsoil ... to discourage animals. I'm putting these as close together as feasible, and at a pace I like. I might also put a few of these 'holes' in my old roses bushs' root zones... fruit trees too! And, of course, will modify as I see results this summer, and check out your wonderful discoveries from comparisons of various methods.

    We must think of alternatives for folks who do not have access to lots of wood chips...I do, but I also clip up small twigs and stems with clippers, like 2-3 " or so lengths. It goes much faster than I thought it would, and a mountain of prunings turns into a molehill very quickly ;) The thicker branches and trunks are sawed into short lengths for verticals. I'm shooting for a do-it-once and forget it, except for very occasional watering and HLF'ing. This all presumes regular mulch refreshment... my most easily collected are fall leaves.

    Also, leaves might be more useful for some folks if turned into 'mould', i.e., packed well, and damp, in black plastic bags, with a worm or two added, to be retrieved in 6 to 12 months, when decomposed, to be what transplants/seeds are directly planted into (at the top of my 'post holes').

    Oh, and might check pH of clay material... it may be a tad alkaline, and not for acide lovers.. straw- blueberries, etc.

    Waiting for the results of more experiments ;) Thanks a bunch, Eric!

  4. Oh, btw, I'd like to replace my 'Unknown" moniker with "Nancy" ;) Also, I'm up here in Seattle area :)

    1. Post a picture when you get some results, would like to see them.

  5. Hello,

    I was wondering what kind of containers you are using for your vegetables. It looks as though you have one container stacked on top of another.
    Is that right? And if so, why?
    I am wanting to grow some vegetable in containers too and wondering if there are any tips in getting them to thrive.

    Many thanks!

  6. They were stacked just for drainage, didn't want water on the wood deck. This year I used regular trays underneath the tubs, but elevated the tubs about 2" with wood pieces to help the drainage (didn't want the bottom of the container to be sitting in water after watering).

  7. Thanks for sharing all this info - This is the answer to my questions about container vegetable gardening in a dry, hot climate.

  8. GardenSeek, love your blog, YouTube videos, and posts on Permies. Would love to see more! You seem to be the only guy bragging on the virtues of vertical hugelkultur, but you're convincing me pretty well!