8 Easy Steps to Design Your Own Hugelkultur Raised Garden Bed

What is Hugelkultur?

Hugelkultur — sounds like hoo-gull,  loosely translated as “hill culture” from German — is an integrated model for a garden because it works at any scale to create solutions. You can design a hugelkultur raised garden bed equally well into a small backyard space or something more expansive.


The advantage of a hugelkultur bed is many-fold. It provides a more three dimensional canvas for growing food, so you’re able to take advantage of both horizontal and vertical space. And, because it’s built on a foundation of logs, twigs, and organic matter (detailed below), it helps retain water and build organic matter back into the soil as the foundation decomposes.

A Note About Water

During the wet months, your hugelkultur bed will trap and retain water. If you’ve shaped it to the slope and contours, it’ll capture, slow, and sink rainwater runoff. During the dry months, we recommend a drip irrigation system on a timer. Less work is more fun.

That’s it! A hugel installation is a fun project for the whole family that will yield a bounty of food for you for years to come.

By | 2017-12-19T11:27:56+00:00 August 20th, 2015|Design, How-to|2 Comments

About the Author:

A former Petaluma Vice Mayor and outspoken advocate of Slow Fashion, Tiffany believes fashion can be both beautiful and ethical, and can bring prosperity to where it’s needed most in the world. Her Himalayan cashmere company, Pashm & Co offers ethical and renewable cashmere at Pashm.co. Tiffany holds a Permaculture Design Certificate taught by the late Toby Hemenway and Daily Acts, an MA from California Institute of Integral Studies with a focus in Integral Ecology, and a BA in Women’s Studies from Mills College. Renée is Past President of the Petaluma Community Guild, and is a beekeeper — studying under Christine Kurtz, Ettamarie Peterson and Serge Labesque. She is a 2007 Fellow of the Leadership Institute for Ecology and Economy. She frequently speaks on Local Economy and Regenerative Businesses.