Butte cultivation is an organic gardening method, based above all on respecting ecosystems. In the vegetable garden as in the pleasure garden, the cultivation on hillocks implies the respect of certain great principles that we detail Charly de Jardiland. Simple, economical, it is a gardening technique used in micro-agriculture and permaculture.
Does hill cultivation simplify working on the ground?
The cultivation on hillocks is differentiated first by the lightening of the tillage. This is one of the peculiarities of synergistic agriculture which was developed by a Spanish naturalist and agronomist, Emilia Hazelip. She herself had been largely inspired by the concept of a Japanese farmer above all a microbiologist specialized in phytopathology, Masanobu Fukuoka, particularly committed to natural agriculture. This can give you an idea of the foundations of hill cultivation.
So the idea is to rely on nature and not to force it?
This is quite the very philosophy of hill culture. We are talking about a green philosophy that was not born yesterday since we found mounds of culture dating from the pre-Columbian era. This agrarian method has many advantages. No need to use a lot of manual or mechanical power since the cultivation on mounds is not done after working the soil in depth but after having raised it sometimes to more than 1.50 m. What changes everything!
Is it the same thing to grow vegetables on mounds and square gardens?
These are two fairly similar gardening techniques. The cultivation on mounds is even more simplified since we do not need materials to create the famous squares. The most commonly done gardening makes it difficult to work the soil more than twenty centimeters deep. With hill cultivation, the earth is raised so that the depth of the soil is increased. It is particularly recommended on heavy or clay soils.
What are the other advantages of mound cultivation?
The ground heats up faster and gains up to 4 ° C because the sun's rays reach obliquely the entire aerial layer. Water losses are limited if care is taken to mount mounds with organic materials. Likewise, rain or sprinkler water penetrates more easily because the soil is loose. This also results in better rooting of the plants, and great ease of uprooting the root vegetables. This is not always the case for deep gardening where the soil is often hard.
Why do we say that the cultivation on hillocks is a form of natural agriculture?
The cultivation on mounds implies that we play the game by applying four main principles, namely: not turning the earth upside down to respect microorganisms. Do not overfertilize the soil. However, you can for example grow a legume like white clover outside of growing periods. Do not over-weed because weeds play a regulatory role in terms of biological balance and soil fertility. Do not use pesticides but control insects and diseases naturally.
How to arrange these mounds in the garden?
We install mounds about 1.20 m wide and 50 to 70 cm high or more, taking care to arrange small paths between each of them to facilitate the movement of the gardener. It is precisely the earth that is removed to create the paths that will be used to make the mounds. Of course, we add manure compost, sawdust, or even a little sand. Each mound is then modeled with a rake and we can possibly consolidate the slopes with bamboo to avoid sagging of the mounds.