It takes a lot of time up front in the collection of mulch materials, but the big gain is that your squash plants can feed for months on the rich nutrients that you have made for them. I plant when the bed is new. That is not ideal, but it allows me to hit production faster. Being in Hawaii, our composting beds age quicker than in cooler climates. By the time the pants are two to three months old, the beds are beginning to break in…by six months (squash grow year round here if you work hard) the beds are getting rich and crumbly.