I must be the worst huglekulturer on earth. Nothing will grow on the three I started about 4 years ago.
I've tried to stick to the permaculture philosophy of avoiding bringing stuff in from outside, and only using what's on my land.
So that means no manure or fertilizer. I pile leaves and grass clippings on them every year (green manure). They only get water from rain as they are too far
from the house to run a hose.
In the last four years or so I've planted soy beans, pinto beans, collard greens, squash, flowers, herbs,etc. on them and anything I plant just
barely grows or produces.
Clearly they are too dry and devoid of nutrients. I'm thinking about breaking my rules next year and buying bags of manure in hopes of kick starting them somewhat.
I did dig a small pond near the mounds this year so next year I will have an irrigation source to water things. Maybe that will help.