Hugel-Bathtub?

There was a heavy old bathtub in the yard, not sure why. It was upside down and I thought it was extremely heavy. I could not budge it, even when using long 2-inch pipes for leverage. So when Richard came with the tractor to till the garden last year I asked him to move it for me. It was full of sand! I don’t know how someone filled a bathtub with sand and then flipped it over!

So after he and I placed it where I wanted it, I leveled it with concrete blocks (it was much lighter now) and there it sat all summer and winter. This spring I decided what to do with it. Here’s what I did…

First I put rocks in to help with drainage. Since there’s only one drain hole I thought it might be helpful. Over the drain I put an aquatic plant pot that I had around, to help keep larger particles from clogging the drain.
-Before doing this part, I meant to cover the rock layer with landscape fabric to further prevent the larger particles from clogging the drain. It looks from the photos, like maybe I forgot that step- Then I threw in a layer of old wood that’s been kicking around. The idea, borrowed from hugelkultur, is to absorb moisture and hold it, and as it breaks down over time, will feed the plants.

 

 

Since I acquired a s-ton of leaves, that was the obvious choice for the next layer. I filled it pretty full knowing the next layers would pack it down and as the leaves break down there would be some loss of volume as well.
I had this bag o’ soil I didn’t like for inside plants. It either contained bugs or attracted them, but it seemed like a rich soil, made with worm castings. Next layer!
(See caption above with the organic soil made with worm castings)

 

Then to top it off I added one or two bags of special container mix. It doesn’t show in the photo but it created a mounded effect, knowing that it would flatten down as everything settled in and began to decompose.

 

I planted some blueberry “bushes”, one at each end (one since died. 🙁 ) and after the frost date I planted a giant elephant ear and some Canna lilies. I know that’s a let-down as they’re not food but eventually the blueberries (in theory) will pretty much rule the roost. Until then, I’ll be planting various things as I see what space is available. BTW, so far no sign of the elephant ear. Might be a dud

I’ll do an update later, as it starts to fill out.

I hope you get some cool re-purposing inspiration from this. I’d like to see your ideas!

Happy Gardening!

 

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