Plugging along in the garden.
We dug up two of the beds for some hugelkultur-inspired experimentation. (Similar to a cold-frame project of mine that has been showing promising results in its first year. Read more about hugelkultur in general here.)
- Remove packed clay
- Turn bottom layer over with some tierra del monte – biomass from the forest floor ‘ mostly in the form of leaves. This prevents roots from encountering an abrupt transition from improved soil to packed clay. When they do encounter such hard transitions, they might as well hit rock. If there is a sufficient layer of transitional earth, though, they will keep going, and eventually they should start breaking up some of the unimproved clay beneath, thus improving drainage etc etc etc.
- Layer of rotting wood
- Fill to brim with small, alternating layers of tierra del monte and the original clay, making sure to break up large clumps.
Here you can also see the first stages of rebuilding the beds. The sacos covering the bed in the last photo are just to help keep the loose soil from drying out.
This project is ongoing. Check back for updates!