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Corn spacing within 3 sister's

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Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  lisaphoto on 4/3/2012, 1:52 pm

So I know that Mel now recommends corn at 4 per square. But if I am interplanting pole beans, should I keep it at 4 per square, or less to allow room for the pole beans? Would planting closer together maybe help to keep them upright? Also, how many beans should I plant? I have kinda asked this before, but got mixed answers

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/3/2012, 2:01 pm

You had me going! Better look pg 192...1 per sq foot. And I've had 'old Tom' a 20 yr Japanese farmer tell me they were too close. Wink

I planted two squares, side by side, 1 plant each (from seed). In the third square, I planted squash.

In the adjoining squares to the corn, I planted the pole beans. But they aren't full squares, just 6" wide.

I wondered if I should plant them closer to the corn, as in the same box.

I did give the corn a head start (it's about 4" tall now), and the beans are just beginning to pop up. I think they'll grow about a foot before they need support.

I can't wait to see what others have done! Great question!

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  rod champion on 4/3/2012, 2:25 pm

My Father grew vegetables for a living. We always planted the corn and beans together so the corn would run up the bean stalk. My wife doesn't like it that way, but it is the quick easy way to stake the beans.

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 4/3/2012, 2:33 pm

There has been some confusion on the spacing of corn. After reading some other threads on the site, AvaD...I think that the recommendation was changed from 1 to 4 per square for corn...

My book actually says 4 per square...

Here is a pic of page 192 and also of the inside page with info...




However, I think there are printings out that still say 1 per square...

Being from the corn belt, I can tell you they plant those stalks awfully darned close in the field, and each plant only produces 1-2 ears of corn... thinking

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  boffer on 4/3/2012, 2:50 pm

I'm looking at the seed packages of 3 different corn types, and they all say to thin to 8-12 inches in the row.

I've posted pictures of my stalk roots, and one rootball fits nicely into one square.

That being said, there have been lots of pictures of folks planting 2-4 plants per square.

I dunno!

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/3/2012, 2:53 pm

WOW!

@Rod...how close would you plant them? Inches apart? In the same square? (I have no idea how much root room either needs.)

@UTBW...2 ears per stalk sounds so crazy. Why would anyone bother? At such low production wouldn't corn be terribly expensive?

My DH said he grew up with corn farmers, and there were 4+ ears per stalk, depending on the height of the stalk.

My publisher's page looks identical to yours.

Pg 192 is definitely different.
Asparagus is 2 per 4 squares
Beans are just 'beans' and are 9
Beets are just 'beets' and are 16
and Corn is 1.

How very odd!

So who knows Mel and can ask?

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  boffer on 4/3/2012, 3:04 pm

@AvaDGardner wrote:
@UTBW...2 ears per stalk sounds so crazy. Why would anyone bother? At such low production wouldn't corn be terribly expensive?

In a good summer, about half of my long season corn will get 2 ears. The rest only get one.

Modern machinery and chemicals allow one farmer to get an incredible amount of corn to market. Hundreds of acres worth. With a couple helpers at the right time, it becomes thousands of acres.

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  UnderTheBlackWalnut on 4/3/2012, 3:10 pm

I would imagine it depends on the variety of corn from what I googled on the extension sites...many said 2 per stalk for sweet corn but there are some varieties which will produce more so your husband is probably right on. We're in different parts of the country too...so varieties probably differ.

Yes, the difference in the books is odd. I will send a question up the chain on the difference in the books. Smile

Back on topic - last year we had a "Three Sisters Thursday" to go with our "Tomato Tuesday" thread ...
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/t7757-three-sisters-thursday

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  CarolinaGirl on 4/3/2012, 3:26 pm

I planted three in one square, but then I also planted a sunflower in with them...

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/3/2012, 3:36 pm

UTBW...beautiful tabby!

Thanks for that link, just the first page if full of info!

We'll have to get ahold of rose/family gardening and find how 4 stalks per mound did. It seems so close!

I wish "old Tom" had corn planted. I'd like to see how far he put his apart. Or maybe he didn't like that I was growing only 2 stalks...but it wasn't showing yet. 'Not enough room!' is all he kept saying.

Oh yeah...does anyone know how to manually polinate corn?

Ava

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/3/2012, 5:51 pm

Here's a link someone posted in the original thread, on pg 7

@capatl wrote:I thought I would share something I found while looking for ideas to teach my pre-k class, as Thanksgiving is coming up. This is one story passed through Native Americans about the Three Sisters. A sweet story...
http://www.birdclan.org/threesisters.htm

I can't wait to plant one this spring, thanks to you all for sharing your experiences!

That link says the 3 were planted all in one mound. Let's say a mound is 9-12" across. Then it is a matter of how far apart your mounds are. Because squash can sprawl 12', I would think they would be at least a foot apart.

I must revise my plan! I'll move the beans (still seeds) next to the corn. I think I'll leave the squash where it is.

Oh goody...I have more space to grow something else!

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  rod champion on 4/3/2012, 6:14 pm

beans about 6" from corn..corn about 1' apart.

There are 2 ears of corn on sweet corn..i have picked a few thousand of them..

sometimes a sucker ear will make a third.

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  FamilyGardening on 4/3/2012, 9:03 pm

@AvaDGardner wrote:UTBW...beautiful tabby!

Thanks for that link, just the first page if full of info!

We'll have to get ahold of rose/family gardening and find how 4 stalks per mound did. It seems so close!

I wish "old Tom" had corn planted. I'd like to see how far he put his apart. Or maybe he didn't like that I was growing only 2 stalks...but it wasn't showing yet. 'Not enough room!' is all he kept saying.

Oh yeah...does anyone know how to manually polinate corn?

Ava

the corn did great!....it was not in our SFG....we did mounds....the corn was 6 inches apart and we got 2-4 ears per stock..... Very Happy

this year we are going to do a three sisters in one of our 4x4 square foot garden box's.....and see how it measures to last years three sisters in our back yard garden....we havent decided how many per square yet.....i want to do more then 4 corn....but putting four corn per square side by side seems to close to me....if i wanted to only grow four stocks of corn then four in one square would be fine.....they would be six inches apart like what we planted last year.....we may end up doing that still but skipping a square between each 4 corns.....kinda like the mounds we did.......

we are also going to plant corn in our back yard new raised bed garden in 2- 8x6 blocks and compare how it does.....from this years SFG three sisters and last years mounds......

to hand polinate corn....all you need to do is go out once a day and give it a little jiggle so that the pollen will fall onto the hairs/silk of the ears....Very Happy

hope this helps

hugs

rose

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  FamilyGardening on 4/3/2012, 9:10 pm

for got to add.....

We built up mounds and alternated corn & beans with squash or pumpkin on every other mound….

A mound would either have four corn 6 inches apart with each corn having one bean …..or the mound would have two squash or one pumpkin…..

i would have to go back and read the last years three sisters thread to be sure....but...i believe the mounds were four feet from center to center of each mound.....

hugs

rose

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/3/2012, 9:25 pm

@rod champion wrote:beans about 6" from corn..corn about 1' apart.

There are 2 ears of corn on sweet corn..i have picked a few thousand of them..

sometimes a sucker ear will make a third.

LOL, I wish I saw this before I went to the garden!

The beans and the squash had just popped through. I moved the beans within 2 inches of the corn. It is on the northeast side of the plant, if that will matter at all.

These 2 little beans were from the same hole. I noticed while watering the other bean hole was pushing up too. I'll have to figure out where to plant them...close to the tomatoes, I guess, so they have a trellis.

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  FamilyGardening on 4/3/2012, 9:31 pm

our beans were half way between each corn.....so they were 3 inches from the corn....

each corn was 6 inches apart on one mound

hugs

rose

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  Chopper on 4/3/2012, 11:29 pm

I planted a three sister in a 4x4 plot. 4 corn per square. All was well - except---- DUH! keep the beans close enough to get to! Some were hard to manage. And pulling up the stalks was a bear, the root balls got intertwined. It was the single hard job I had in my SFG. Had to get a....shovel (remember those)... to loosen them.

Oh, and plant the corn first so it has a chance to grow - my beans were growing a lot faster than the corn.

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  AvaDGardner on 4/3/2012, 11:32 pm

@Chopper wrote:I planted a three sister in a 4x4 plot. 4 corn per square. All was well - except---- DUH! keep the beans close enough to get to! Some were hard to manage. And pulling up the stalks was a bear, the root balls got intertwined. It was the single hard job I had in my SFG. Had to get a....shovel (remember those)... to loosen them.

Oh, and plant the corn first so it has a chance to grow - my beans were growing a lot faster than the corn.

Chopper, would you plant less corn (and beans) per square?

If you look at the photo on the first page, it says 8 pole beans per square. I wouldn't want to overwhelm one to a stalk of corn though, until I know if it can handle it more than one bean plant.

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  rod champion on 4/4/2012, 12:17 am

they'll grow Ava-- the beans will run right up that stalk.. and the corn gives the beans some shade.

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  Chopper on 4/4/2012, 3:34 am

And aren't the beans nitrogen fixers? I believe they are good for each other. I would not plant fewer. If I did anything different it would be to plant the corn first and then plant the beans when the corn is about 4-6 inches, but in the end, it will work out.

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  lisaphoto on 4/4/2012, 9:39 am

I am still confused. I have a 4x12 I will be dedicating to 3 sisters. I had planned on having the corn and beans in the middle squares, and having squashes running along the outside squares. I had also thought about having a trellis at the end of the box for some of the squashes to run up. But now I'm thinking maybe keeping the corn at 4 per square but having the squares off set and interspersed with squashes.

Looking at the image of my layout, I think I would plant the squashes along the edges still, but let them run into the bed. The ones on the left (which is west), could be ones I train up a trellis. And I would plant one pole bean per corn stalk. I have also started some corn seeds indoors to give them a head start, and will be doing succession planting. Corn would be 4 per square even though the image shows only two. So do you all think this all would work? Should I split the difference and only do 3 per square? I have limited space and want the greatest yield possible.



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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/4/2012, 10:32 am

What kind of squash are you planting? Is a vining type that can be trained up a trellis like, say, a cattle panel trellis? If the squashes are summer squashes, that'd give you a lot of produce for little extra space. If they're small sized winter squashes, they could be trellised also. I planted six winter squash plants in the three sisters configuration last year, and trellised both the Potimarron (small) and the Australian Butter (medium) on the horse-wire fence we used to fence in the garden. The potimarrons were happy with the arrangement, but the Aussie Butter had to be supported in slings. Also, consider planting the corn in blocks, they'll pollinate better that way. Perhaps four inside blocks on each end, with beans planted at each square's intersection with next intersection, then squashes around the edge.

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  lisaphoto on 4/4/2012, 12:06 pm

I posted a reply but it's not showing up, so sorry if a double post

I think I may go with this layout. The corn is blocked together in the middle. 3-4 corn per square and 1 bean per corn. I don't want to trellis to the north b/c then I wouldn't be able to reach the corn. I will trellis to the west (left) the smaller winter squash, and let the larger winter squash vine out on the bed and out of the bed if they need to. What do you think?


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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 4/4/2012, 12:14 pm

Looking good!sunny BTW, what's your favorite winter squash, and why?

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Re: Corn spacing within 3 sister's

Post  lisaphoto on 4/4/2012, 12:18 pm

Chopper, how many beans did you plant per square in with the corn? Did you do 8? And did you just plant them at the base of the corn, or plant them like you would any seed, equally divided in the square?

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