Three Sisters August Update

This summer I put in a “three sisters” garden bed, with corn, squash and beans, and we’re finally deep enough into the summer to see some results. So here’s the latest.

The corn looks good! It’s a grain corn, so we need to let it dry. More about all that once I figure out what I’m doing.

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And we have beans! The bean vines long ago climbed to the top of the (10 to 15 foot!) corn stalks, which looks cool, but we’ve been waiting for some time hoping to see actual beans. I finally spotted them today! We also have a lot of blossoms on the vines, so there should be more beans soon.

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And the last winter squash plant is dead. A postmortem: I think the main problem is that it never got enough sun. I planted it in the middle of the corn and beans instead of on the outer edge of the planting, and did not anticipate how quickly the corn would grow and shade it out.

After I realized that was a problem, I also put in a lot of squash seeds farther out on the edge of the corn planting, but most never sprouted. Part of the problem was likely the rainy weather that led to a lot of standing water in that part of the garden. Whatever the reason, the squash never got going well enough to fulfill it’s role in the three sisters planting of providing ground cover to keep down weeds.

So, as far as the squash, I’ll plant it further from the corn next year, and hope that improves things. Still waiting to see what the final bean and corn harvest looks like.

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