Hugelkulture beds, less watering and fertilizing….
Hugel beds are garden beds that utilize the wood and brush piles lying around your woodlot to grow plants. Logs, branches, any kind or size, are piled on top of the ground or into ditches and are covered with at least a foot of dirt. As the bed ages the wood underneath the dirt becomes heavy with moisture and begins to decompose. Mycorizie, microbes and insects colonize the wood providing nutrients for the plants above. The moisture laden wood becomes a water reservoir providing moisture to the plans as well. This method of gardening not only saves you time in watering and fertilizing, it sequesters carbon that would normally be released back into the atmosphere . The photo at the top of this page is a photo of my hugel bed's first year, everything from squash to pumpkin, tomato to watermelon grew in this thing. I watered only 3 times the whole summer, and added no fertilizer.
This bed is huge, at 6 feet tall and about 40 feet in length the square footage of this guy is enough to feed my whole family a couple times over. Unfortunately deer came in and ate most of this years crops during our vacation. Next year should be much better since fencing will be added to the perimeter including plenty of space for fruit trees and more perennial vegetable plants. I can hardly wait for this springs planting!