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Old 05-02-2010, 10:27 AM
 
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What is the reason?
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Old 05-02-2010, 11:14 AM
 
Location: NC, USA
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Hummmmmm, I've been growing both melons and various types of squash for quite a few years, with the exception of a SEVERE drought year, I have had excellent results. I do not plant in mounds, I do.... till the soil deeply, mulch (grass clippings work quite well), and thin the young plants to about one every 4 feet. If no rain in 2 weeks, water at dusk.
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:48 PM
 
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It helps the roots expand.
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:49 PM
 
523 posts, read 837,571 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Rhodes View Post
Hummmmmm, I've been growing both melons and various types of squash for quite a few years, with the exception of a SEVERE drought year, I have had excellent results. I do not plant in mounds, I do.... till the soil deeply, mulch (grass clippings work quite well), and thin the young plants to about one every 4 feet. If no rain in 2 weeks, water at dusk.
That's good.
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Old 05-02-2010, 01:59 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dusty Rhodes View Post
I do not plant in mounds, I do.... till the soil deeply, mulch (grass clippings work quite well), and thin the young plants to about one every 4 feet. If no rain in 2 weeks, water at dusk.
If no one comes up with a great argument for the hills, I'll do it this way this year. I already till deep and mulch, and I think mounds are a pain.
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Old 05-02-2010, 03:48 PM
 
Location: Between Heaven And Hell.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sll3454 View Post
What is the reason?
I think it is more what the mound is made of than anything else.
Normally the mound is a compost heap or of well rotted manure.
Melons and Squashes are really hungry and thirsty plants.
A compost or manure heap has a good reserve of nutrients for the plants to use, and due to the large quantity or organic matter, an ability to hold a large volume of water.
Also, these heaps have a tendency to produce and absorb heat, which helps the plants earlier on in the season.
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Old 05-02-2010, 07:15 PM
 
Location: NC, USA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sll3454 View Post
If no one comes up with a great argument for the hills, I'll do it this way this year. I already till deep and mulch, and I think mounds are a pain.
Really, a good garden is enough work as is, no need to make it harder than it has to be. Mulching is great for the soil and helps the ground maintain moisture, I wonder just what percent of a Watermelon or Cantaloupe is water??????
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Old 05-03-2010, 02:14 AM
 
Location: The Raider Nation._ Our band kicks brass
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Once the vines are covering everything, the mound makes it easy to spot where the root is.
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Old 05-03-2010, 05:00 AM
 
Location: Canada
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What I have always been told is that it is because they are heat-loving plants and also that they do not do well in poor drainage. Mounds allow for more heat and the elevation prevents the roots from rotting in wet weather, both of which are considerations in my location.

Edited to add that I have never heard of mounds being made primarily of compost. I heap up garden soil, which of course I try to keep enriched with manure but the mounds are composed of nothing different than the other plants.
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Old 05-03-2010, 08:14 AM
Status: "chickpea soup" (set 28 days ago)
 
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My guess is that the idea has a long tradition, going back at least as far as the Pilgrims. Squash, pumpkin, cukes, gourds, and melons are all vining plants that have zero interest in what the soil is except where their roots are. They can easily spread four or five feet in every direction. If you are subsistence gardening, you can take a couple of cow flops, some soil, mix it and place it on ground that isn't good gardening ground and grow any of these plants. There is no need to till the soil around those hills. In fact, if you have such a mound of soil on rocks, you don't even need to do any weeding.

What has happened over the years since the introduction of powered tools is that gardeners devote a plot of ground to the garden and try to make ALL of the soil fertile and productive. In other words, our ancestors knew not to feed the weeds, but only the crop.
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