When we started growing strawberries, we had a great crop in the first couple of years. The next 2 years were marginal and we struggled to keep the weeds down, no matter how much mulch we used. This is how it looked at the end.
I must admit that we simply left it because we know that we will give it a makeover, but it did look bad for quite some time.
After learning from microbiologist Dr Elaine Ingham that they need a fungal dominance of 5:1 (fungal : bacterial biomass) we decided to build a huegelculture bed to give them optimal growing conditions. Burying tons of wood makes utter sense to grow those fungi, create acidic soil and feed our strawberry crop.
We started early April 2019 to weed the old strawberry patch and take the strawberry plants out. The weeds (except the twitch) were thermal composted a few weeks later and the strawberry plants and runners were put in tubs with lots of soil to overwinter.
We spent two weekends doing most of the digging work and used the long Easter weekend to fill the trench with the large logs and build up the mound using smaller logs and twigs. We gave it two months to settle and planted the strawberries early August.
We have put together a wee slideshow to show our process of building it. We hope you enjoy it and find it useful to build your own.
Follow this link to find out more about huegelculture, also called Hügelkultur: https://www.permaculture.co.uk/articles/many-benefits-hugelkultur
About Cornelia Holten
Cornelia is an herbalist and slow food educator with a passion for simple living, DIY, herbs and self-sufficiency. A certificate in Organic Horticulture, the Soil Food Web, an Apprenticeship in Herbal Medicine and living on a farm in Pigeon Bay equip her with a lot of knowledge and experience with growing food and living a healthy life.
She is teaching workshops on sustainable food systems, whole foods, fermentation, primal diets and organic gardening. A thirst for knowledge and a passion for new scientific studies keep her well informed on those topics.