Wednesday, June 8, 2011

3 Sisters Update

Planting a 3 Sisters garden is supposed to be one way of growing plants that benefit each other.  The corn (Golden Bantam Yellow Sweet) is supposed to be the oldest of the three sisters growing the tallest.  The squash (Lemon) is the next sister growing over the garden bed to create a shade that keeps the soil cool and moist while preventing the growth of weeds.  Beans (Borlotto Solista) grow through the squash and up the corn to complete the trio.  Those beans add nitrogen to the soil helping to fertilize the garden.  Pretty cool.DSC_2242_6599Farmer MacGregor’s support

Corn has been planted in waves along with beans.  The squash was planted at the head of the drip lines to enjoy extra irrigation.  Now that I’ve just planted the final wave of corn (Planted June 1. Germinated June 7), I’m going to do things a bit differently.  Waiting for the corn to grow about  6” before the beans are planted will help the corn keep pace with the superior growth rate of the beans.  This last planting has pumpkins (Jarrahdale) planted for their melons.  There is a row of corn that is way too short for the aggressive beans.  Farmer MacGregor had to erect a bean support so the vines could stretch over and grow while the corn catches up.  I planted additional beans on the other side of the support with hopes it will be filled with beans.DSC_2243_6600Borlotto Solista showing off.

Corn has never been grown in the garden before so my hope is to at least get one ear of corn to try and determine if it’s worth growing in the future.  So far, the corn seems to be growing very well.  Tassels have started to form and it’s not even hot yet.  Mother Nature is getting a helping hand from me as I’m out there shaking the stalks to encourage the pollen from the tassels to fall down to the silks and form kernels of corn. I’m encouraged.DSC_2247_6603Tassels on Golden Bantam Yellow Sweet Corn

Yes.  Silks are starting to form.  Is anyone impressed with my Midwestern corn speak?  Dang.  I’m a Californian and feel like I’m out in tornado country successfully growing a crop of corn.  Sure.  I know the stuff grows here.  It grows here big time; but  I’m out there whistling songs from the Wizard of Oz or Oklahoma when I’m working in the corn.DSC_2248_6604Silks on the Golden Bantam Yellow Sweet Corn waiting for pollen.

The Lemon squash has really started to grow with vigor and the pumpkins are just beginning to break through the soil.  Jarrahdales were planted on June 1 along with some radishes.  Remember my theory that world hunger would end if every person had just 2 squash seeds?  Sure there’s the additional problem of fertile soil and a source of water to consider.DSC_2251_6607Lemon Squash starting to spread on the floor of the 3 Sisters garden.

The rest of the country is supposed to be experiencing gross, hot weather this week while I feel like I’m at the Pacific coast enjoying the cool breezes and warm sun.  Oh.  My time is coming.  Until then.  Ahhhh!

1 comment:

dorothy said...

That is one seriously healthy looking garden! I'm not familiar with lemon squash but will look forward to your garden updates.