Start by digging a five-foot-wide trench the depth of a shovel head.
We have gophers, so I laid chicken wire before anything else to keep them from digging up through the bottom.
Using a chainsaw, I cut several trees into pieces. I laid the largest down first.
Next, I added smaller branches and some leaves, grass clippings, and other brush.
A rotting bale of hay made a good next layer.
The next layer is two bags of store-bought organic compost.
A close-up of the the surface at this stage.
Variety is the spice of a good hugelkultur bed.
A layer of soil from the original trench I dug.
To compact the existing material, fill in gaps lower down by the large logs, and moisturize the bed, I soaked it with a garden hose for a good 20 minutes or so.
After soaking, I added another layer of soil.
Another layer of soil.
Starting to add a layer of homegrown compost made from horse manure and leaves.
A full layer of homegrown compost.
With another layer of soil on top, the shape of the bed now is a large hump. More surface area means more space to plant veggies!
To compact and moisturize, I once again soak the entire bed.