Theme Gardening – Mound gardening technique

Just when you think you have seen or heard of every type of gardening there is one more gardening method that comes to your attention. I believe this is true for two reasons. One is that gardening has existed since the beginning of time and that leaves a lot of time for experimentation.

The other reason is that there are so many climates and growing conditions that people find a way to grow plants in whatever climate and soil conditions they may have. As people see these different gardening methods they try them and sometimes are surprised with the results.

One year I tried mound gardening and it’s a method that works well for different areas. Some people have used this for lack of space, to make gardening easier on the back, for wet areas and to incorporate and mix in rocks for a natural rock garden.

My first mound garden was quite by accident. I had a wet area and I tried to fill it with soil to make it easier to mow. Well, the soil I used had too high of a rock content and I ended up with a bigger mess than before. So I started looking on the garden sites and saw two ideas, one was a bog garden and the other a mound rock garden
The bog garden sounded great but I wasn’t about to move out all those rocks so I went with a mound rock garden. I added soil over the rocks and let it fill in any air pockets, watered and repeated the process. Then I decided to really build a mound and added another foot of rocks. Again I added soil and watered lightly and added more soil. When I felt the soil was firm around the rocks I began choosing plants.

In choosing plants I considered color, plants with matching growing requirements in water, soil and how much sunlight they required. I also limited the plant selection so the garden would be easy to maintain.

I selected the following plants, Scotch moss, a few yellow daffodils, wood spurge, hens and chicks, snow-in-summer, two lamb’s ear plants and a few pots of candytuft. I also picked up some annual moss rose plants to fill in any spots that looked bare.  This was a nice selection of color and easy to maintain. I also added an old root and a few larger rocks for contrast and design

I used this mound for several years before the rocks finally started blending into the original wet area. The rocks helped fill the spot and I added topsoil. I now mow my yard in that area and moved the plants to a different garden. The plus is that I learned a new style of gardening and had a unique looking garden.

I did more research after my first mound garden and found that this style of gardening has existed for centuries. It was often used in wet areas to make it possible to have a garden. One gardener even made mound gardens in a warmer climate in wet areas so that the roots would go to the wetter soil so that the garden would not require watering from their well. They had a very successful productive garden without the time and effort of watering.

I also had a friend who planted beets using the mound method. It was less work and they said the crop produced higher crops when planted this way. Planting in a mound makes the soil heat up faster and makes for earlier crops. Potatoes and carrots also do well in a mound garden

When using a mound garden for planting crops put a layer of good compost or fertilizer under the mound. Also remember higher soil dries out faster so if it’s a mound in your yard and not a wet spot you will need to water it more. I use a plastic two-liter pop bottle sunk upside down in the ground with the bottom removed. The bottle acts like a funnel and takes the water right to the roots where it is needed.

Mound gardening is fun and adds to a yard. Whether it’s for vegetables or a mix of plants and shrubs it becomes a focal point in a yard.

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4 responses to “Theme Gardening – Mound gardening technique”

  1. joss

    This is the first that I have heard about mound gardening, thanks for the article.

  2. admin

    Mound gardening lends itself to many different plants and styles of gardening. It’s also a lot of fun. Glad you liked the article, Denise

  3. John Winstanley

    I just came across this method recently on a visit to a gardening project in France. I am a keen hobby gardener, I’ve heard of permaculture but never this method. Apparently this system has been in use in parts of Europe for centuries.
    The system I saw used tree logs as a base which rotted over time and added nutrients, then soil, straw mulch and top soil.
    Also saw a system of using wheat straw bales to plant into…interesting.
    Wet the bales for three days, cover for ten days, they get hot. Un cover,make holes in the bales add soil/compost and plant your stuff direct into the bales.

  4. Denise

    This works very well. The one method is called hugelculture. In my climate it works well.

    I have used straw before for gardens and been very happy with the results

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