Hill Bed turned out Canny solution
At our Community Garden project at Blackhill Club, we began with a hefty task and many elements stacked against us.
The site although large was unmaintained for years and had very little soil. Much of our soil areas, around the edges of the and had naturally developed over the years with grass and other weeds, and there wasn't enough soil to grow the food and herbs we had planned for the site. We knew after initial observations we had to increase our soil and growing area and began exploring possible solutions.
As well as the lack of soil, some of the edges had been planted with willow and other trees which had over grown and were beginning to bow and break, causing a safety risk. One of our first tasks in the winter was to cut back the trees, and we had an excess of wood material on site to put to good use.
The third issue we had on the site was due to en excessive flow of water coming off the neighboring hills. The water would flood down the car park area of the social club and run off all the green space, collecting in certain areas creating boggy wet land. We needed to find a way to capture and redirect the water.
After considering the resources at our site, we contemplated creating a pile of garden waste and planting in it. We weren't sure it was possible until we did a little research and found this Hugelkulture method.
Creating a Hill Bed involves stacking waste wood material and covering it in layers of waste material and soil, recreating the natural process created in a woodland floor.
Logs and debris rots beneath the surface supplying nutrients to the soil, feeding the plants and storing water throughout the year, which can last for up to twenty years or more.
The system also creates additional growing space by increasing the volume of the growing area and adds biodiversity to a small space.
How We Did It
We decided to create two different hill bed systems, in different styles. The first was to use the edge area with an incline and increase it, we planted herbs, fruit bushes and trees in this area.
The second we created a full hill bed on flat land to increase the growing space and capture and redirect the water pouring down the hill, we then created a Bee Zone dedicated to bees, butterflies and other wildlife.
Herb Hill Bed Method
Bee Zone Hill Method
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