How to Use Squash Pits for Bigger Garden Yields

What is a Squash Pit?

If you’ve already read David the Good’s book Compost Everything: The Good Guide to Extreme Composting, then you might already be familiar with his ideas about “melon pit composting.” In this video, Marjory adapts his idea to create a rich planting bed for squash this spring.

You can learn more about this simple method for increasing your veggie production, and lots of other cool, innovative ideas from David the Good, during the upcoming Home Grown Food Summit. During the summit, David is presenting his new “feature film” Extreme Composting – The Movie.

If you’re already a member of the [Grow] Network, then you’re already signed up for the event! So keep an eye on our newsletter each Tuesday and Friday for upcoming announcements. If you don’t receive our newsletters, you can sign up for the Home Grown Food Summit here: Register Now

Michael Ford

Michael has been the resident editor at The [Grow] Network since January 2015. Michael grew up in St. Louis, where he became a lover of nature - hiking and fishing his way through the Ozark hills in Missouri. He attended Baylor University in Waco, TX, and he currently lives in Austin. Michael has background experience in small-scale farming, commercial growing, vegetable gardening, landscaping, marketing, and software development. He received his Permaculture Design Certification from the Austin Permaculture Guild in 2013.

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29 Comments on How to Use Squash Pits for Bigger Garden Yields

  1. Joe

    So, –> <— that much equals 6 inches… cool! No wonder my wife is happy!
    Also, you must be one tough chick to dig holes with a shovel in BARE Feet. Note to self: "Don't mess with Marjory!" I used to live in Texas, but i don't remember the ladies being so tough.

    Thanks for the tip!

  2. Marilyn

    Thank you for all the information that I have received. I’m praying and asking GOD for a place where I can call my own to bless others and be a blessing to work for him.

  3. GB

    just wondering if i can do this with shredded papers as well
    i tend to keep colored glossy papers separate, always fearing the colors might not be good in the garden – then again, nature breaks down a lot of junky stuff
    card board should soak up water well too… oh the possibilities !
    my phone books however, are still needed to make booster seats for the little ones

    • Sandy

      Glossy paper is often colorful.

      When I studied graphics technology in a previous century, we were informed that ink pigments had been reformulated to soy based inks. I think there was some understanding that heavy metal pigments were a problem, but I don’t know if workarounds have been developed for all colors.
      Since only a small percentage of the soy crop is non-GMO, I figure adding colors, and maybe any ink is going to add GMO’s to my soil.

  4. Jacqueline

    Looks like a plan to me, great idea. Two birds with one stone sort of thing.
    You should be this animated more often…
    By the way…I loved your measurement guidelines! Perfect!

    • Juan Jorge

      Me, too. I like the concept though. So, I think I’ll be picky about what I compost, such as cardboard, plain paper, etc. Definitely, don’t want to use that thermal paper that they print receipts on.

  5. George

    I like the technique to hold more water below the top soil. I do have concerns about Marjory teaching this while digging barefoot. She is a big example of permeability and common sense advice,however I feel in teaching these values she should also encourage safety . Digging with a shovel while barefoot si not a good example of digging safely. .

  6. DeborahAnn

    So, I have someone near and dear to me that insists that the inks from anything printed would be bad in the garden, and ultimately us, since we eat the food from the garden. Is this a real concern?

  7. Jackie Macgirvin

    I’ve heard you aren’t supposed to use any flyers with color on them, or anything other than plain black and white newspaper in the garden because of the chemicals in the colored ink.

    • tom

      digging barefoot, wow… Colored ink in newsprint used to contain heavy metals, so i’ve always avoided putting them in the garden — but i believe i read somewhere that they were reformulated without the ‘bad’ things – either for landfill issues or because heavy metals tend to be expensive and the new substitutes were cheaper…. i probable should have investigated!…lol

  8. Juan Jorge

    That was a cute video! Love the concept, too, of making use of junk mail, phonebooks, etc. to retain water through the season. I was also impressed with your tough feet, lady! Wow! I like going barefoot through the grass once in a while. I think I’ve only ever used the shovel while barefoot, maybe couple times. Anyway, love to see country folk in action and in their bare feet! LOL

  9. Valerie

    The squash pit sounds like a great idea, but I am concerned about the toxic inks made from petroleum products that are on all the paper you are putting into the soil, which will in turn end up in the plants.

  10. Ellen

    How wonderful was that? Can’t wait until the Summit.I am trying to be as self sustaining as I can on my city lot. All this information is all new to me and wonderful!! Thanks!!

  11. Thomas

    I do NOT think this is a good idea. So many different toxins could be in the inks and such from the old mail. I would NOT want that in my growing soil. Makes no sense to me…

  12. Kelly Hebert

    Majory–Starting at about the 2:45 mark, you mentioned not knowing what it was about sand, but there’s never enough sand to go back in the hole…I’m guessing that sand is just like dirt…I thought my husband was joking, but it has been proven true, time & time again…If you dig a hole during a full moon, there’s generally dirt left over, after you fill the hole back in…& if you dig a hole during a new moon, there’s usually not enough to fill the hole back up…One of nature’s mysteries; I have not idea how this happens, but I’ve witnessed it with my own eyes!

  13. Sandy

    Love the squash pit idea!
    And loved watching how easily your shovel sank into your soil!
    Where I am, top soil is very thin, so I dump it on a flattened cardboard box so as much as possible feeds the veggies, rather than the weeds!
    Looking forward to seeing what happens when the squash meets the remains of the phone books!