Potatoes Hugelkulture/Wood chips test 2014
Just wanted to relay the results I had in a small experiment with growing red potatoes in a raised bed with half the area done as a low hugelkulture bed, and the rest wood chip mulched.
The bed is 4 X 10 feet split into 4 X 5 sections, with one half having 4-6 inch wild cherry logs buried 8 inches deep. Both sections were mulched about 3-4 inches deep with mixed hardwood woodchips from the local utility trucks. Fertilization was about 4 pounds of 15-15-15 and 1 pound of lime.
I planted on March 21st, but due to a cold snap in early april all the plants were frozen back to ground level so a "real" planting date could be considered to be a little later than normal for our area. Harvest was done yesterday July 29th. Two pounds of cut seed potatoes went into each section.
The yield for the 4 X 5ft mulched section was 28.8 pounds, and the yield for the mulched and buried log section was 43.8 pounds, so it looks like I'll be burying more logs this fall...
One interesting observation about the difference in the sections was that the area with buried logs showed evidence of mycelium all though the soil from logs through the wood chips, while the chip mulched area did not show nearly the same amount of fungal growth.
Interesting results, so I guess I'll keep the bed the same next year and see what the effect is as the chips and logs age.