This is where they are used as raised beds, correct? They are not recommended for Utah as they require a lot more water. They are also more susceptible to temperature changes and nutrient leeching.
If that doesn't talk you out of it, I have soooooo many more rodent problems whenever I bring straw bales into my yard. Plus messy.
They're great at improving the soil underneath them, but you can do that for free with leaves right now
Positive side -Plants LOVE all that lose soil. They grow really well when properly irrigated.
I keep editing my post because i have two thoughts going with now vs spring.
You have the chance to get ever better compost doing it now. But you run the risk of leaching out more nitrogen. Do you have access to manure??? Also overwintering mice....
It's fun to look at new things. I gave hugelkulture a real effort, but ran into the same water problems. If love to hear how it goes.
Disney is the opiate of the masses.