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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Three Sisters and Half Sisters Update

So I experimented with the Three Sisters Method of planting Corn, Squash, and Peas together. I also did an experiment with planting Eggplant and Peas in a similar three-sister style of interplanting. I'll call this the Half-Sisters planting for discussion purposes.

Well here is how the Three Sisters look today
You can see how the squash/zucchini and corn are interplanted. If you look at the base of the corn on the left, you can see a pea that is about ready to be trained to climb the corn.
My observations:
- Looks like I actually got the timing right. I thought that I maybe planted the squash to early, but perhaps not.
- The 'problem' with the squash is that I planted a bush type and not the vining type. However, it is still doing a good job covering the ground, as it has completely taken away the rows that I intended to use for walking between the plants! I can still tiptoe through there though.
- I may have actually planted the peas too late. We'll see. The corn looks as though it may be ready in about a month or so. I don't think the peas will be. So let's see how long the corn will be a trellis for the peas.
Here are the Half-Sisters
The eggplant is still fairly small. Though, you can see two at the bottom right of the pic. The peas have already outgrown their trellis and I am not sure where to train them now. I guess they can just go back down. I imagine this will be a mess to clean up, but they are just bamboo sticks, so I may just toss them in the compost with everything else.
As far as sisters, I am not sure that they are helping each other at all. I guess I could say that they are helping each other by creating a gap between like plants. So given that there is an eggplant in between each pea plant (and vice-versa) does have its benefits. When a cutworm took out one eggplant, it didn't easily 'find' the others. One of my pea plantings have been chewed on (by ?), but whatever it is hasn't found the others. I would assume that if all of these plantings were lined up, the culprit(s) would just go down the line and attack all the plantings.

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