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.
(Left: a May 1 image of the month old farm, at Right: the same view with additional planting beds fully realized six months later.)
One quarter acre all filled out after 7 months of farming. We can do it, everyone! Every inch of soil…and it is now deep rich soil, was lovingly built with one woman (me,) one shovel, and a fair bit of focus.