Hügelkultur literally “hill culture” in German. The process gets this name because it results in a plant bed that is a mound or like a small hill. This type of garden bed becomes self-fertilizing and naturally retains water during dry spells.
The process starts with digging a trench, or in my case clearing a raised bed. After digging out all the dirt from the raised bed, I filled it with hard wood oak logs and smaller hard wood trimmings. I used oak since I had a tree cut down recently and kept all the wood. Then more layers of other organic material were added above the wood. Often this is straw or other dead plant material from weeding. I used compost from one of my compost containers. I added some straw and other old grass clippings. The nitrogen in the compost and grass clippings will hasten the decomposition of the wood. I added other older plant trimmings from bushes on top of that. I then added a layer of green grass timings. On top of this I put all the dirt back in. Lastly, I watered this all down.
As the wood decays it will soften and hold water. This will help the bed stay moist during times of little rain. It will reduce the amount I need to irrigate the bed. Also, the wood will begin to release nitrogen back into the dirt and restore what is lost through gardening.
So now we have a finished raised bed using the hügelkultur process. I am looking forward to testing this bed over the years to see how well it does compared to regular raised beds.