Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Is It Necessary To Plants Squashes and Melons in Mounds or Hills?

My friend asked me why we are supposed to plant squashes and melons in mounds.  The answer is - it is not necessary here in Utah unless we are planting in clay soil.  Here's why:
 - cucurbits (all plants in the gourd, pumpkin, squash, melon, cucumber family) don't like "wet feet"!  They need plenty of water, but they want it to drain away.  They don't want their roots water-logged.
 - in areas of the world where there is a lot of rain, it is necessary to plant these plants in raised mounds  so the water will drain away from the roots.
 - Here in Utah, we don't get a lot of extra rain in the summer so it is not a huge issue.
 - To be efficient with water, you can even plant cucurbits in slight depressions in the soil, so that the water runs toward the plant, soaking into the soil and going to the roots - not running off the mound and away from the plant.
**HOWEVER, if you have clay soil, which drains very slowly, you might not have fast enough drainage and your cucurbits could get wet feet.  In that case, go ahead and plant them in mounds.

Here is my friend Jenny planting the seeds in the pumpkin patch at the community garden - not in mounds.

Here are the pumpkins and squashes we grew in the pumpkin patch at the community garden last year.

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