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Mounds and bogs in the forest garden

Building mounds and swalesRobert Hart created mounds in his garden just like the mounds I built for my hazel trees.  He layered branches and leaves on the ground, then topped them with turf (grass-side down), compost, and soil.  He considered the mounds a method of increasing his gardening space, with the improved drainage being secondary.  According to Hart, mound-gardening originated in China and was also very popular in Germany, where it was known as Hugelkulturin.

Hart also created little bog gardens, laying down a sheet of plastic and topping it with peat.  The bog gardens allowed him to extend his repertoire to include cranberries and other bog plants.  In fact, varied habitats could be considered one of the themes of his overall garden, which contained the forest garden, bog garden, annual vegetable garden, and even a little pond.  Intuitively, Hart had latched onto an idea that every ecologist understands --- areas with multiple habitats can support more species than less diverse areas.

Check out our homemade chicken waterer.

This post is part of our Robert Hart's Forest Gardening lunchtime series.  Read all of the entries:

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