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Saturday, September 24, 2011

Three Sisters Final Update

So this will be my last update on my Three Sisters experiment.

Overall, I think it is a great planting method and will definitely do it again.

So of the things that I would do different:
- Plant the corn first, peas and squash about two-three weeks later
- Be sure that the squash that I am using is vining squash and not bush squash
- Make sure my soil is fertile enough to actually grow corn
- Give more space between planting rows. I started out with 1.5' between rows and ended up with no space between rows for walking and harvesting.

But there were some great things about this method:
- When thrips found my corn, they only found one planting of it. So all the other plantings were unharmed.
- I didn't have to spend extra money or time with pea trellis'. When its time to pull everything, I won't have to untangle peas from my trellis.
- I would also imagine that if I were attacked by some squash pest that they would have only found one grouping of my squash; as the interplanted method may confuse them or cause them to think that is the only squash available for tasting. However, I think a summer planting took care of most pests and they have faired well thus far.
- I did also plant some peas on a trellis away from the Sisters. I found that the peas planted with the squash produced pods earlier than the peas on the trellis. However, thus far, the corn-planted peas are shorter.

The only bad thing I found with this was a result of human error. Basically timing and spacing. The squash was planted before the peas and had basically taken over the bed before the peas got started.

Exhibit 1: You see the peas (circled) laying on the ground...yes growing along the ground!
 Well, this is because the squash plant has grown over on top of them. Thus, as you can see below, the pea plant grew horizontally out of the ground. I circled the roots if the pea plant. Every thing outside the circle is the squash plant that grew over it.
This was caused by me bc 1) I planted the peas too late...almost two weeks after planting the squash-should have planted at same time, 2) probably planted them to close, and 3) should have been sure to use vining squash.

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