Wildflower Hugelkultur

Friday, June 28, 2019

Wildflower Growth - 1.5 weeks after planting
We had a tree fall over in a large windstorm. The tree guys took the trunk, but left the stump in place (when you have a lot of property, this is fine). So I decided to hugelkultur it by digging up the sod & flipping it over. I placed a wall of forsythia sticks 3 ft around the stump to get a circular shape. Then I covered the center with some tree limbs and branches from the yard.
Hugelkultur - covering the stump with tree limbs and sod
I covered that with grass clippings, and topped that off with brown cardboard (to keep the weed seeds in the grass clippings from sprouting). On top of that went a bag of composted cow manure and then a bag of top soil.
Hugelkultur - some flipped sod to hold the grass clippings down
Hugelkultur - cardboard to block weeds from the grass clippings

I mixed two small bags of 10,000 deer resistant wildflower seeds with 1 part seeds to 4 parts potting soil, and then just sprinkled the mix over the hugelkultur circle. Since the wildflower garden is not near the house, I fill my 2.3 gallon watering can up with water and try to get the whole area damp every day.
Hugelkultur - 4 parts potting soil to 2 part wildflower seed (20,000 seeds), then stamped on for dirt contact

Right after planting the seeds, a bunch of flying weed seeds came in. So I have no idea if what ends up growing is wildflowers or weeds of some sort. I guess we'll find out! (the weed seeds fly, but do not look like dandelion seeds)
Wildflower bed - WEED SEEDS one day after planting
Hugelkultur - Butterflies enjoying the wildflower beds

As time moves on, the stump, upturned sod, tree limbs, grass clippings, and cardboard will all break down with the help of microbes and earthworms. This decomposition should keep the ground underneath a little warmer than the rest of the yard. This hugelkultur layering is supposed to result in gardens that do not need to be watered as the decomposing materials hold water for the surface plants. I've been toying with this idea in my raised beds, but this is a little more of a standard hugelkultur approach.

Garden experiments!

One week of growth.
Wildflower Growth - 1 week after planting
1.5 weeks of growth.
Wildflower Growth - 1.5 weeks after planting
2 weeks of growth.
Wildflower Growth - 2 weeks after planting

A varied mix of green sprouts are already coming up, but there's no real way to tell (yet) what's a dandelion or some other weed, versus my annual/perennial wildflower mix. We shall wait and see!

Wildflower Growth - 2 weeks after planting

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