Hugelkultur at TPL

Hugelkultur mound

Hugel-what?  Some new and exciting raised beds in the TPL Gardens this year will include a hugelkultur (pronounced hoogle culture).  In German, the rough translation means “round culture”.  This is a sustainable gardening technique

using woody debris (fallen branches and/or logs) as a natural foundation.  Woody debris becomes sponge-like, and absorbs lots of vital nutrients and rainfall, slowly releasing to the mound’s plants.

Summarized by Paul Wheaton at here are the features of growing a hugelkultur:

  • grow a typical garden without irrigation or fertilization
  • has been demonstrated to work in deserts as well as backyards
  • use up rotting wood, twigs, branches and even whole trees that would otherwise go to the dump or be burned
  • it is pretty much nothing more than buried wood
  • can be flush with the ground, although raised garden beds are typically better
  • can start small, and be added to later
  • can always be small – although bigger is better
  • You can save the world from global warming by doing carbon sequestration in your own back yard!
  • perfect for places that have had trees blown over by storms
  • can help end world hunger
  • give a gift to your future self

Here are the beginning stages of the TPL hugelkultur.


The view from inside the library.