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Small-scale hill culture


Build up the soil in your garden if you want to have rich and nutritious plantings. Now, first things first – what is hill culture? Hill culture (German – Hügelkultur) is a gardening method which requires composting wood and other biomass to use it as a base for building nutritious soil for your plantings.

How can you do this? You can gather the prunings from trees and weeds and pile them into a mound over one season, and then when the next one comes, use newspapers or cardboard to cover the mound, placing compost and leaves on top. Once you’re done with that, you can plant anything you want there. Popular plantings for this gardening method are squashes and gourds. Decomposing material inside the mound will radiate warmth, and these plantings in particular appreciate that, which makes them suitable for Hügelkultur.


You might be wondering what the benefits of this method are. Here they are:

1. Prunings,leaves, and weeds are normally trucked away every year; however, when you opt for hill culture, you bring them back into the soil.

2. Furthermore, these materials are excellent for building rich, water-retentive, nutritious humus, which can persist over the years thanks to the lignin in the wood, which can be said to act like a sponge.

3. Your gardens will be rich, biodiverse habitats.

Not only will you get a fertile garden, but it will also be a visually appealing one. Normally, you would have to use heavy equipment to build up hills and knolls, but this way, you can use easily accessible material instead of discarding it as waste.