This is the first I have heard of hugelkultur, and it makes sense, especially if a garden is on a hill side, or there is a shortage of water. I've watched several films and read articles and the principles are sound. I agree with some of the commenters that putting barn manure onto the heap of logs will help to replace the nitrogen that the logs will consume. Creating berms and swells is good gardening technique and I saw a lot of it when I was in Asia.
I've not heard of hugelkultur (horrible word to remember how to spell), either, but I've made a start towards doing it, just because I don't like the work a compost pile takes.
I've been tilling all my organic matter into the soil, and sometimes just burying it. I also started making berms for my watermelon plants, and am doing it for other plants as well.
One of the reasons is because modifying my soil with sand and organic matter, has left me with a large excess of soil on my small piece of land, that the landfill want's me to pay $17/ton to take. I would like to see them take it for nothing and sell it to people that need good soil, similar to what they do with organic matter.
Very interesting video. I read about this before but didn't know the principles. Now I need to find some energetic helpers to haul the logs and soil!
These bins take kitchen vegetable and fruit trimmings and egg shell. They attract flies if not managed correctly. They make an outstanding compost and I empty them each spring.
In the far background are my covered bins, in the foreground is my worm farm that I take inside before the first frost because freezing kills the red worms that are used to take care of my winter kitchen scraps. This can actually go in your kitchen or your living room. There is no smell, no mess, and the only thing is to keep the water spout at the bottom open with a cup or jar to collect the compost tea that comes off the worms working. The liquid is perfect for houseplants or to toss in the garden.
In between is that long berm running left and right through the picture. These are the cuttings from my garden that collect very quickly through the year. Everything from trimming from shrubs, deadheaded flowers, plants after they die down for the year. I have no annuals, so these are perennials, shrubs and tree leaves. Even corn husks and cobs that the birds and squirrels like to munch on. I take it apart every year or two, sieve it through a large sieve that is about 2.5' x 4'. I start the new pile with uncomposted greens.
Garden sieve, stock photo, mine is very much like this.
I could leave the berm as it is, throw some dirt on top and plant melons, cucs, squashes of all kinds. They would grow very well in this pile if it were in a sunny spot. To use this pile for planting, I would use a soaker hose along the top, or around the bottom; anything that will keep the pile moist, not soggy, and the vines will quicken the decomposition time. Also, if I were planting the pile, I would throw on two inches of well composted steer, poultry or rabbit manure over the whole pile, then dirt on top.
Do you have a picture of a compost ball? I think I know what you mean by compost tumblers. All the precious stuff that people throw away, not even realizing they have a treasure unrecognized.
Joan, here they are. The compost ball looks like an old WW1 sea mine. But it's plastic. Ning likes gizmos. The tumbler and the ball work about equally well. I can push the ball around the yard to mix the contents, more easily than turning the tumbler. Neither holds a huge amount. They are really good for kitchen scraps, not so good for big amounts of yard waste.
With all of the coffee grounds, teabags, trimmings, we go through, both of these are in constant use. When one is full enough to be cumbersome, we switch to the other.