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Dave is spot on. Every time you trim a tree, regardless of how big the bits are, chuck them in as backfill. You can also use things like shredded paper and cut up cardboard. I'd treat it like a compost bin - use everything organic as fill.
If it has nut grass would not use unless you already have nut grass because very hard to get rid of.
I thought the essence of a hugelkultur bed was logs and not mulch.
You use the logs to create fill and for later breaking down slowly. Of course, you can throw branches in among the logs and whatever is on hand.
I usually see hugelkultur as a cold climate method because it generates anaerobic composting heat.Not an advantage during our Summer.
As for mulch -- I see that as the top blanket for any bed, although the council mulches may be very coarse and a bit raw.
I used to bury wood in the beds but found that later to be cumbersome as they were never buried deep enough. I preferred the honey hole approach --sort of trench mulching -- as I wanted a quicker process than breaking down tree trunks..
Nowadays I just throw all my cut timbers into the chook pen and let the poultry work them over.
My neighbour throws his stuff in there too.I have piles of branch cuttings, banana stems and old timbers that the chooks work through like fossickers. I check termite numbers now and then.
Once semi rotted I throw them on the garden or recycle the topsoil they create. Part of why I do this is my fear of promoting termite infestation and Hegelkultur is Termite Heaven.
I want to be able to roll any log to see if the buggers have moved in and nesting.
Of course, woody mulch brings termites too -- but I don't use that a la council -- leastways at home.
But if you want woody mulch your tree lopper peeps are more reliable because you get to see the wood they mulched up. We use that in the Vetiver plantation.Often you can get the stuff for free.
Council mulch is any and everything. Whereas your tree professional offers what they cut that day or week.
Needless to say, if using woody mulches -- be sure to sprinkle them with manures to moderate the break down.
Most of my garden was built with grass clippings -- fast and reliable soil making. But you'll get weeds -- at least Scurvy Weed in my case. Although I need to drag and drop that, it's a great green mulch and I suspect my garden is a lot better for its carpeting presence.
We got a free load with our box trailer from the council dump near Arana Hills. It was loaded with nut grass, it took ages to get rid of new growth.
That was our experience, things may be different now.
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