Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hugelkultur raspberry update

Another hugelkultur update!  Remember last spring's raspberry project?  Here is what it looked like on May 1 this spring:

Most of that lush growth is raspberry shoots.  The sticks are prunings from the apple trees, strategically placed to keep the hens from digging in the rich hugelkultur soil.  Nutmeg is photobombing.
Since discovering the wonders of woodchips, I decided this would be a perfect mulch for my raspberries and for the apple and pear trees behind the raspberry row.  First, though, I needed a small wall to keep the woodchips off the lawn.  An inexpensive option is patio blocks.  We will see if the frost pushes them all out next winter/spring.  If it does, I'll simply redo it some other way.  I needed something quick for now.

The beginning of the wall to hold the woodchips off the lawn.
Weeding and carefully putting chips around and under the plants.
I dumped lots of chips on the lawn after putting down several layers of newspaper to kill the grass.
 This entire area will ultimately be covered in woodchips so no mowing will need to be done around the fruit trees and raspberry beds.  This should also dramatically reduce the need to weed the raspberries.  More chips will likely need to be added, especially the first few years.  We will see!
As the woodchips break down, they will feed the fruit trees and raspberry canes with mineral rich compost.  I'm so excited about this project!

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