Hugulkultur problem

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Raven12, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. Raven12

    Raven12 Well-Known Member

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    I didn't want to hijack the other thread and I suddenly noticed this problem the last couple of days with my container plants. Soil bugs! They are only a problem in my hugelkultur containers. Some are eating the roots and some are eating the plants. It has been about 8 months since I have been using the technique and I can't go outside to see how my mini hugel beds are because we had a snow storm. Do you see an increase in soil bugs with your hugelkultur beds?
     
  2. Johnny Dolittle

    Johnny Dolittle Outstanding in my field

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  3. Raven12

    Raven12 Well-Known Member

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    Maybe. A couple different looking bugs came up when I turned over the soil. I used a soap insecticide. I realize that I will have to keep up treatments. This is such a bummer because it is a great concept. I'm not sure though that I want to fight bugs indoors and out.
     
  4. where I want to

    where I want to Well-Known Member

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    Any description on those bugs? I can't think termites- the only time I have ever seen termites come out is during their mating flights. And I have never heard of any eating live plants.
    If you can't describe the bugs, can you describe what the damage looks like?
     
  5. Raven12

    Raven12 Well-Known Member

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    One was long with a lot of legs. That one ate my pepper plant. Most look like pill bugs. (Ewwwww) Other ones look like tiny stink bugs but were in the soil. I woke up the other morning and a plant was wilted. I watered it and nothing happened after a day. I pulled it out and there was barely any root left.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2013
  6. where I want to

    where I want to Well-Known Member

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    When you say lots of legs, I think millipede or centipede but neithe of those eats living plants that I know of. Maybe a beetle? Earwig?
    Can you give color, size and number of legs? Anything to go on?
    Can it be possible you have slugs and the other bugs are just there to clean up? I know that is what most pill bugs do.
     
  7. Raven12

    Raven12 Well-Known Member

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    Brown. I didn't count the legs. I killed it asap!

    I did just read online where these bugs, or ones that look like them, feed off decaying matter so I can see why the wood would attract them. I am also reading posts on other forums where people had a problem with bugs attacking their plant roots.
     
  8. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    Containers really aren't appropriate for PERMAculture methods of growing since food sources are depleted so quickly in them. The bugs can't leave for better food sources, predators can't get to them and plants won't get the benefits of predigested soil.

    There are lots of excellent organic soil mix recipes floating around that are good for 7 years of container gardening with only a little bit minerals added eah year.
     
  9. Raven12

    Raven12 Well-Known Member

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    I use containers and outside beds for hugelkultur. Well, I did until this weekend.

    Actually, many people are using the hugel containers. It isn't something new. I have been corresponding with those around the country that like to experiment with gardening.
     
  10. Raven12

    Raven12 Well-Known Member

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    I have been online today and have found many other posts on other forums where people have termite problems from outside Hugel beds. So it isn't just me. Decaying matter will attract bugs.
     
  11. geo in mi

    geo in mi Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Pill bugs, sow bugs, earwigs, centipedes, millipedes, and all the other arthropods will shred and eat dead organic debris(which you added to your soil by putting dead wood chunks in the bottom of your container...). They will do this whether your soil is in a container, or whether it is simply in garden soil("..you build it, they will come"...) They break down big molecules and digest them so that other soil organisms will continue the food chain and you will have genuine organic nutrition that your plants can eat. Kill the Arthropods and you'll kill your organic plant food factory. Best thing to do is wear gloves for the ugly, bitey, slippery, slimy things that make up an organic garden and plant more seeds so you will have enough to eat of those that survive any of Nature's casualties......

    geo
     
  12. Laura

    Laura Well-Known Member

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    But not all bugs are "bad" unless the're held in captivity without their normal food.

    Termite poop makes nutritious plant food.
     
  13. where I want to

    where I want to Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking that it might be a overly wet problem- that might cause the root to tamp off on plants- rather than a root eating bug. The advantage of hugelkultur is that it retains more moisture than other systems, so it might be easy enough to have too much water.
    The main part of my veggie garden is on a pile of redwood slash with dirt shove over it so in essence it's a giant hugelkulture bed. And I can tell you that digging into it is an aventure in entomology and zoology. It's quite a little biosphere. There are so many bugs, little mammels, reptiles and fugus down there that I have seen things that were undescribable- at least I have never seen.
     
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  14. K.B.

    K.B. Well-Known Member

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    Increasing the moisture content in decaying wood and other organic matter during dry periods will generally increase the number and activity of many creatures. My hugel beds are definitely more "alive" during the summer than other dry areas around them.

    I haven't noticed any problems caused by increased numbers of creatures, "bugs" or otherwise. Each bed is likely to be unique based on the soil type, wood used and plants growing in the bed.