ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Mound Gardening in the North

Updated on May 14, 2011

The problem with gardening in the North is the cold soil temperature. Years ago I read about a method used in Scandinavia which I believe is called mound gardening. I did this type of gardening for some years while we live in the Northwest United States and found it to be very simple and effective.

The method requires that you have some tree branches, trimmings work perfectly. I used poplar and wisteria but I am sure any deciduous branches would work. I am not sure about evergreens. You take your branches and lay them out lengthwise in a long mound over untilled soil. Then for the next year you add all of your compost material to the mound. The air flow through the branches keeps the compost from getting too hot so you don't need to turn it. Just keep adding all the garden and kitchen vegetable waste through the year. Don't forget the autumn leaves.

When spring time comes cover your composted mound with a four to six inch layer of good garden soil. The aerated compost underneath will continue to provide warmth throughout the growing season. Plant your crops as usual and enjoy the excellent results.

Each year you start a new mound trading locations as you go. You'll find that the soil underneath your two year old mound is beautifully enriched and friable so that is what you'll use to top your new mound. Use the remaining material from old mounds to improve your new mounds.

This turns out to be an easy and effective way to improve the soil in your garden while you are enjoying good crops. This method is easy to start and it just get easier. I found my soil so improved that after about ten years I stopped mounding my garden at all except for growing melons and tomatoes which require good warmth.

Additionally a plastic tent over a mound garden provides even more warmth for tomatoes and peppers. You could do your mounds in boxes but I never did. A box frame would make it easier to place flexible PVC for a tent frame however.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • AnnCee profile imageAUTHOR


      6 years ago from United States

      The composting material works the same way and smells about as good! :-)

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      horse manure was used in the past to heat seed beds under glass. was used fresh to generate heat.

    • Dolores Monet profile image

      Dolores Monet 

      7 years ago from East Coast, United States

      I love gardening and have read about and tried all sorts of methods - but this is one I haven't heard of! Very interesting. Just wish I had more room so I could try it, haha!

    • AnnCee profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      Thanks for nice comments.

    • tom hellert profile image

      tom hellert 

      7 years ago from home


      i thought this was a really cool hub- ya learn something new each day


    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      7 years ago from New York

      Very interesting and most likely better than plain composting as you get faster results!

    • AnnCee profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      Another type of mound! This one from Papua, New Guinea.

      A bowl shaped hole is dug in the earth and fill it with a mound of dried long grass. This is covered with soil for growing sweet potatoes. The article is scholarly and a little complex but there are also good photos. I opened the quick view rather than downloading the PDF.

    • AnnCee profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      I found this article about a mounding technique called a lasagna garden. I'm sure this would work beautifully to warm a garden area as well.

      Instead of tree branches and compost, this method uses straw and manure.

    • Krysanthe profile image

      Kathy Hull 

      7 years ago from Bloomington, Illinois

      I had never heard of this type of gardening before either...what a great idea. I'd love to try it on a smaller scale, just as an easy "green" way to make compost and enrich the soil.

    • AnnCee profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from United States

      You can keep it in the same place but one of the benefits is the beautiful soil that results underneath your mound. I used three rows for my mounds. You have one mound preparing each year. Oh also easy to weed because soil doesn't get packed hard. This does result in a lot of material so you do need a larger yard to be able to use up all the material. That's why I ultimately just started gardening directly on the soil. You can do this on a very small scale just to try it. My beds were about 18 feet by 6 and grew a ton of produce. Use the last year's area for squash and pumpkin, they go crazy.

    • Terri Meredith profile image

      Terri Meredith 

      7 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I've never heard of this before either. Pretty cool idea. I've always had a small garden of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers until I moved to my present home. There's no yard available as I'm in an apartment building. I'll be passing this on to my mother, though. She always has something growing

    • John Holden profile image

      John Holden 

      7 years ago

      That's a method I've not heard of before. Not quite as labour saving as conventional deep beds but on balance, taking into account the composting element probably not much difference.

      I suppose in a limited space there is no reason why you should not keep building the beds in the same space.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)