The first year we installed our hugelbed, we were blessed with one of the biggest pumpkin I have seen. First off I have to apologize, as this article is really late, in fact almost 2 years late. So we have more information if you are interested in hugelkultur, and interested in setting up your own hugelbed.
It has become more challenging to get these articles out, so I am going to be taking my notes and starting a bunch of articles that I can piece-mail and get these out as I have time. Thanks for your patience and interest in our little homestead.
When it comes to success in the garden there are two factors that always ring clear, right soil and right amount of water. In a hugelbed the soil is about as rich as you can get without further amending it, and this rings true with our hugelbed. The first couple years growing in a hugelbed can be unpredictable, as the cycle of decomposition is ramping up and releasing nutrients into the soil. So we aren’t always sure how things will grow, but we do know they have the best possible chances as those easy to process nutrients are quickly processed into the soil.
Our choice for growing plants was not focused on annuals but more perennials for the hugelbed. We wanted plants that would continue to prosper as the hugelbed continued to process and provide to the soil. So our first year we only planted a few annuals in there to help provide ground cover and offer a quick reward. Little to our surprise would be the handful of melon seeds we planted would there be such a dominant plant that would take over the bed. Along with the melons we planted several herbs and perennial plants. As you can see our pumpkin was the clear winner.
Pumpkins typically need very specific soil to do well, and are not often a choice for home gardeners, as outside the typical jack’o’lantern around Halloween, they dont find much practical use for pumpkins. Well, with our little champion pumpkin, we were determined to make good use of this pumpkin. We found that we could make our own pumpkin pie fillings and can them for future use as well as making pumpkin butter with is made similar to apple butter and is equally delicious. The pumpkin butter was such a hit that we shared it with our family and friends and everyone enjoyed it. The seeds were also soaked in a brine and roasted and were a favorite as well.
We really enjoyed finding different ways to fix and use pumpkin that we are hopeful to grow more with equal success in the future.