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Mound gardening

Mound gardens distinguish the method of gardening called hügelcultur. Hügelcultur, a German word for mound gardening, involves growing plants on specially prepared mounds of rotting wood and plant material. It uses rotting woody plant material as compost to enrich the soil. It’s composting brought to a higher, more efficient level.

Chicago's Navy Pier in winter
Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

This type of gardening works in home gardens or on large stretches of land. It’s perfect for areas damaged by severe storms, for transforming barren land and for preventing destructive flooding. The mounds can be constructed to enhance a property and reduce or eliminate the need for irrigation and fertilization. It’s a means by which food production increases because more food can be grown in a smaller space.

Every year, gardeners prune their trees and shrubs and wonder about ways to use the branches they have removed. It seems wasteful to throw them in the trash. Hügelcultur is the solution to this problem.

Sometimes gardeners decide to change the grade of their property. They want raised beds on which to grow and show off their flowers and other plants. Purchasing tons of topsoil is expensive, and moving that soil is backbreaking. Hügelcultur is a better method.

Gardeners desire to grow the most colorful flowers and the best-tasting fruits and vegetables. They like the idea of reducing the amount of water and fertilizer needed to achieve these great results. They care about the environment. Mound gardens achieve these results.

Hügelcultur is flexible and adaptable. Mounds can be developed over a period of time. Starting with two feet mounds and adding a foot over time might be a good choice for a home garden. The gardening results are beneficial regardless of what procedure is used.

To be continued…

Live long and well—garden.

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