I put in another “three sisters” garden plot this year with corn, pole beans and squash. I really like the idea of interplanting vegetables, and this is a classic combination of plants to grow together. The idea is that the beans use the corn stalks as support, and the squash grows around both and provides ground cover.
Last year was the first year I tried this, and it was moderately successful. I was happy with my harvest of grain corn and pole beans, but the winter squash floundered, and ultimately died without producing squash. One issue seemed to be excessive shade. I planted the squash too late and too close to the corn plants, and it got shaded out before it had a chance to grow very large. This year, I planted the squash farther out from the corn, and it’s already reached a nice size.So: So far, so good!
A few more details: This year I changed the variety of grain corn, because I wanted to try something new. The grain corn I picked is ‘Oaxacan Green’ corn. The kernels are supposed to be a mix of green and yellow, which I think looks really pretty in seed catalog photos. Currently, those plants are about waist high.
The pole beans are ‘Kentucky Wonder’ beans, and they’re the same ones I grew last year. In fact, these are beans I harvested from the three sisters plot last year: They’re the first ones I’ve saved as seeds and replanted, so again: hoping these do well!
And the squash, is winter squash, but I’m not sure what type. I planted several types of squash this year, and neglected to label them. Unfortunately, they all look pretty much the same when growing, so hopefully these last long enough to set fruit, so I can see which type they are. Pretty sure it’s ‘White Cushaw’, but it could also be ‘Red Kuri,’ or ‘Kogigu.’ With luck, I’ll get a chance to find out! I am determined to beat the squash bugs this year. I bought an organic-approved insect killing soap, which hopefully will help.
Here’s my first group photo of the three types of plants together. (Plus a few weeds that are photo bombing.)