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Compost Honey Hole

A "Honey Hole" is an underground compost pile. Giant pumpkin growers use this method, to prepare their garden to grow record-breaking pumpkins.

The concept of a compost honey hole is simple: Bury a mixture of compost and manure where you will place a plant(s). As the plant's roots grow in search of moisture and nutrients, it reaches down to the rich compost and manure, fueling the plants growth.

Similar to the Honey Hole, the Compost Trench is a method where compost is buried underground in rows. Plant a row of your favorite vegetables in the garden soil above it. Like the Honey Hole, as the roots grow, they find the underground treasure trove of nutrient rich compost and manure.

By burying compost, you are also practicing a method of worm composting. The worms in your garden will be attracted to the compost, aiding in the decomposition process. Along the way, they will leave worm castings, which in turn, feed your plants.   Also see: Vermicomposting

Raised Garden Bed

Raised bed gardeners also use this method,. Each Fall the raised bed is emptied to 1-2 feet below the level of the garden soil. It is then re-filled with raw compost materials, in preparation for the next growing season. Over the long winter months, it decomposes, and is ready for your plants in the spring. See Raised Bed Garden Soil.

How to  Make a Compost Trench or Honey Hole:

There is no right or wrong way to bury compost. Ideally, burying compost in a hole or in a trench, is best done in the Fall. Bury raw, un-decomposed compost and manure. The decomposition process gradually takes place over the winter months. Your garden is ready to plant over the compost, as soon as spring arrives. If you bury compost in the spring, the materials should be partially, or completely, decomposed

Begin by digging a hole or trench. Dig  the hole down to a depth of one to two feet. While garden topsoil often goes down just a few inches, the roots of many plants can go down to a foot in depth, or more.

Now your Honey Hole is ready to be filled.

See What to Compost

Fill the hole with alternating layers of compost, garden soil and manure. Top the Honey Hole off with 2 to 4 inches of rich garden soil. The finished project should be a couple inches above the level of your garden soil. This will allow for settling, and help to drain off excess water.

To mix or not to mix- If you use the layered approach above, mixing the materials is not necessary. If you feel better about mixing the materials first, go ahead and give it a few turns. There is no right or wrong way to mix materials. A pitchfork is helpful, to turn and mix materials.

Related Topics:

Vermicomposting and Worm Compost

Raised Bed Garden Soil - it's a similar concept.


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