Well ... this was meant to be an experiment and, like many experiments, I don't expect to achieve full success the first time around.
I planted a small Three Sisters Garden this year ... my first with this concept (planting corns, beans and squash together as companion plants) and also my first time growing corn. Things are really slow. I intentionally planted it away from the rest of my vegetable garden to keep the critters away from the other goodies:
But I also didn't want it right behind my house, so it is off to the side in a not-super-sunny location. It gets sun, just probably not the 8-14 hours the rest of my yard gets.
I planted the corn (Golden Bantam) at the very end of May. I would expect it to have been bigger than this?? Does it even look healthy as I have no idea!?
And the Red Kuri squash shown here below is not quite at the same stage as the other winter squash plants I have on the go ... I already have spaghetti squash that are 10 inches long and full size acorn squash. I don't even have a possibility of a kuri squash here this year ... much less the long, windy vines that are supposed to cover the soil to hold in moisture and protect the other plants. In fact, these look a lot like the stunted summer squash plants I have - flowering but so tiny there is no way anything will form on it.
But there is still time, and with time comes hope (or so I keep saying to myself). And I will try this again next year, so I will focus on what has gone wrong and make some improvements next time!
The corn does look unhappy. Even the short varieties get to 5' normally. Corn is a really heavy feeder. The Native Americans used to fertilize with a while fish buried under the hills. I keep thinking I ought to try beans with my corn and squash again to see if I can get it to work. But then again a two sisters isn't bad and the timing is easier.ReplyDelete
"Unhappy" is a very polite observation! Yes, they look terribly unhappy. But I know zero about corn, so will study over the winter - I always like a challenge. Buried fish ... interesting!!Delete
I have never tried the three sisters method but I do keep hearing about people having difficulties making it work and doing corn with only beans or squash. How wonderful would it be if you could sort through any problems and make it work for you! I love experiments and can't wait to see how this works out.ReplyDelete
I am lucky to have the space to experiment and the price of seeds goes a long way. I'm thinking I prefer the squash "companionship" rather than the beans. A couple of months left, so we'll see ...Delete
I tried this once and had the same problem, beans out-growing the corn. The last few years I've planted dwarf French beans under my corn, which seems to work well. If I'm organised I do two lots of bean sowing so they're slightly staggered for harvesting. And usually my first lot of sowings get eaten a fair bit by slugs/snails so I have to fill in the gaps with those too, which gives a staggered crop as well.ReplyDelete
Great idea about dwarf beans ... the beans are now pulling the corn over as the corn simply cannot support the beans.Delete