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newbie pumpkin in a small hill?

Posted by kaali_maali 5 (My Page) on
Tue, May 12, 09 at 11:01

In every packet instruction of pumpkin it says plant in a hill, now how to create a hill in the backyard. I do not have a hillock in the backyard. Do I have to dump one or two bags of dirt to create a hillock and then add top soil and compost and plant the pumpkin seedling?

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RE: newbie pumpkin in a small hill?

  • Posted by shebear z8 NCentralTex (My Page) on
    Tue, May 12, 09 at 12:04

It would help if they gave a wee bit more info on those seeds packs, especially since more people live in cities than on a farm. I looked around and found a pretty good explanation of hill planting. It follows.

Hill planting is another traditional planting layout. A hill does not have to be a mound, but mounding by adding organic matter is beneficial to most crops. Larger vegetables, such as melons, squashes and cucumbers are planted in mounds of soil about 1 foot in diameter and 6 to 10 feet apart depending on the crop. Generally, 4 plants are allowed to grow from a hill.

Mounded soil heats sooner and hastens the germination of these warm-season crops. Plants grown in hills are allowed to sprawl as they mature. Mature plants, particularly winter squashes and pumpkins, require considerable space.

As you can see hill planting is mostly used for crops that just don't work well in close rows. I always make a small mound about 6 inches tall just so I can tell where the plant roots start. It gives me a target to water if I'm not using drip or soaker hoses. If you don't want to do that you might put in a stake so you know where you started those seeds.

RE: newbie pumpkin in a small hill?

When I'm preparing squash/melon hills I like to start by digging out a hole about 8-12 inches deep and 12-18 inches across.

In the bottom I put lime and other appropriate soil amendments and mix that around with the dirt down there.

Then I mix the soil I dug out with compost/aged manure, more lime, and anything else that the soil needs (ag extension agent tells me I need potassium here). I then pile that back into the hole and form it into a flat-topped mound.

I plant the seeds on top of that mound of enriched soil -- 4-6 of them depending on variety.

You can mulch between the mounds to cut down on weeding as the vines get established.

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