A hugel is water efficient, so how much or how little should I water?
If you’ve built robust hugel, and you’re growing typical vegetables with a view to regular harvesting, then you would typically water:
- seed beds – 5 mins, twice per day, the same as a conventional bed.
- seedlings – 5 mins, daily for the first week, every second day for the second week, weekly after that.
- established plants – 20 mins, once per week, but longer if you have decent rain (10mm+)
- in the heat of summer we have temperatures of 35°C (95°F) and upwards. Under these conditions, you may need to water recently established plants (a month old or less) for 5 minutes daily.
You can read more about water and hugels in Water Efficiency of Hugels.
Robust water effective hugel beds
These suggestions only work if you have a well built bed.
Make sure you:
- build your hugel a minimum of 120cm (three feet) tall.
- remove as many air pockets as you can during construction, by pushing dirt and small woody materials into the gaps. This will make the most effective sponge for retaining water.
- ‘charge’ your hugel by watering well during construction
- use a range of woody materials, both big and small, and especially some materials that will break down quickly to hold water. These include grass clippings, straw and coir.
For more on construction techniques, see Step-by-step hugelkultur