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Old 07-09-2008, 03:09 PM   #1
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How do you create hills for gardening?

What are they and how do you create them? I know they're recommended for stuff that takes up lots of space with growing and for vining plants. I know that with hills, they're recommended if you're growing watermelon, cantaloupe, any type of squash (zucchini and pumpkin are what I'm interested in). What do they look like and how do you create them? How big should they be in diameter (rough guesstimate in inches would help please). Do you just plant the seeds in a circle on the hill? If so, how far apart do you space them? Also, when the seedlings germinate, then what do you do?

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Old 07-09-2008, 03:33 PM   #2
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I'm not sure what you mean by "hills" uniqueenigma but I would say that the idea would be to keep the fruit away from the ground moisture. If you were to plant the seeds on a hill you would need something quiet large but if you plant on sloping ground it wouldn't matter. A more practical idea would be to make small hills [mounds] out of straw or something like that under each fruit as it forms.
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:39 PM   #3
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Just make a pile of soil with a hoe.... easy cheesey!
I put 3 to a hill, in a sort of triangle (5 or 6 if they are older seeds, just in case, then thin to 3) about 3-4 inches apart and leave them alone.
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:42 PM   #4
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i plant everything in row hills.

that is i turn the soil, pushing the shovel down as deep as i can go (about 12 to 16"). then i turn a second row right up next to the first so i have a broken up row about 3 feet wide.

i spread compost and/or organic fertilizer over the length of the row, and run a tiller over it, working backwards to turn the additions in.

this leaves sort of a sloppy hilled row, which i then straighten out with a metal rake buy pulling up the sides to form a pointy hill, then grading it flat with the back of the rake, dragging it along to make the top it smooth.

hth.
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Old 07-09-2008, 03:52 PM   #5
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Soil bulks naturally by 30% when you dig and work it, so this is what you mean by hilling???
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Old 07-09-2008, 07:01 PM   #6
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Susie's got it right, and easy, uniq.
Don't make mountains out of mole hills!
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Old 07-09-2008, 08:17 PM   #7
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Hills, as in gardening hills, can mean two things in Uncle Bob's dictionary of gardening terms. First, like Miss SuziQ said...a mound of dirt, made with a hoe, shovel, or whatever, in which seed are planted. Mostly used by home gardeners for various melons, cucumbers, etc with the idea of keeping the small plants up out of standing water to prevent drowning. Mostly a waste of time, and energy. I planted 7 acres of watermelons once when in high school and built hills on all 7 acres...The next year...no hills...just put the seed in the ground...No difference at all that I could see. Also the term is used here to refer to how many different planting/seed spots you have in a row. As in I planted 50 hills of squash....50 different holes in which I put seeds, and covered, or I planted about 100 hills of Okra, meaning I planted okra seeds in 100 different spots, spaced evenly, down the row.



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Old 07-09-2008, 10:55 PM   #8
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I am with UB, unless you are planting in an area that seems to stay moist or retain water hills are not necessary. Our veggies, herbs, etc are all planted in with our prairie beds with all the other plants and they do great.
I do have to remember to water them as none of the prairie plants need watering, but that is it. One caviot is that I am not planting strawberries, watermelon, or cantelope so I have no worries about having to put down straw or take measures to keep them from rotting from moisture exposure.
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Old 07-09-2008, 11:05 PM   #9
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Is it just me (I have sandy soil) or does having hilled rows seem to keep the soil around the plant drier?
DH insisted I needed raised rows, I think I have to water more often than I did without.
Everything grew just fine every other year without raised rows.
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Old 07-10-2008, 12:38 AM   #10
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We had sandy soil when we lived in Evanston, its on the North Shore and you can still see the 'hills' left by the dunes. I remember two things about our veggie garden there: no hills or mounds, and the tomatoes and peppers went nuts! Huge plants, lots of fruit, and we had to give a lot away as it was too much for us. I remember the cherry tomato plants were especially huge.
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