Square Foot Gardening Forum

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.


Search
 
 

Display results as :
 

 


Rechercher Advanced Search

Latest topics
» Kale Question
by countrynaturals Today at 3:09 pm

» New England September 2016
by camprn Today at 2:59 pm

» Hand Pollination ?
by camprn Today at 2:57 pm

» CANADIAN REGION: What are you doing in September 2016
by sanderson Today at 2:12 pm

» What are you eating from your garden today?
by sanderson Today at 2:00 pm

» compost thermometer
by sanderson Today at 1:58 pm

» Plantoid' s going into hospital ....
by sanderson Today at 12:54 pm

» Tryst with my first DIY SFG
by sanderson Today at 12:51 pm

» Admin back! Classic cars
by sanderson Today at 12:47 pm

» Northern California & Coastal Valleys - What are you doing this month?
by sanderson Today at 12:37 pm

» EXPERIMENT: Tomatoes to Powder
by trolleydriver Today at 11:00 am

» N&C Midwest: September 2016
by Scorpio Rising Today at 9:29 am

» The Research Journey:what to plant now, fall gardening in Dallas-Ft worth
by sanderson Yesterday at 9:55 pm

» Second Year SFG in Canada
by sanderson Yesterday at 9:53 pm

» Medical Topic...may be helpful to some folk....
by sanderson Yesterday at 9:50 pm

» Gardening in Central Pennsylvania
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 9:04 pm

» Mid-Atl - Jul 2016 - Wwwwaaaaahhhhh!
by Scorpio Rising Yesterday at 6:07 pm

» Another item for composting.
by llama momma Yesterday at 4:04 pm

» mulching
by dstack Yesterday at 12:27 pm

» 1,000 worms on their way....
by Cajun Cappy Yesterday at 11:45 am

» Mid-Atl - Oct 2016 - Fall Garden 2016
by BeetlesPerSqFt Yesterday at 9:32 am

» When is a great time to start a garden? The Fall!
by MrBooker Yesterday at 6:05 am

» NEW ENGLAND OCT 2016
by Scorpio Rising 9/24/2016, 10:02 pm

» leggy potatoes plants were started too early in the hous
by sanderson 9/24/2016, 8:31 pm

» Soil Blocks: Tutorial In Photos
by Kelejan 9/24/2016, 12:49 pm

» Mix for making soil blocks
by trolleydriver 9/24/2016, 7:54 am

» soil testing
by Kelejan 9/23/2016, 9:26 pm

» Terrible News: Bumblebees In Trouble
by Scorpio Rising 9/23/2016, 8:51 pm

» Facebook - SFG Foundation postings
by Scorpio Rising 9/23/2016, 8:49 pm

» A traditional German dish with a Fall twist.
by sanderson 9/23/2016, 6:38 pm

Google

Search SFG Forum

Three Sisters... my new word: "allelopathy"

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Three Sisters... my new word: "allelopathy"

Post  Windmere on 7/24/2014, 3:14 pm

Yesterday I read a good article in the Aug/Sep issue of Organic Gardening.  The article focused on the "Three Sisters" method of gardening and it mentioned some new stuff I had never heard before.  Here goes:

"Most gardeners have heard of 'three sisters,' three food plants traditionally grown together by native Americans, and supposed reasons why the crop combination works:  The corn acts as a pole for climbing beans, the beans fix nitrogen, thereby providing an important plant nutrient; and the squash's broad leaves shade out the weeds."

Moving on, "As it turns out, squash plants do suppress weeds, but in addition to blocking the sun with their large leaves, they also take on the weeds through and altogether more sophisticated mechanism:  allelopathy.

"Allelopathy is 'chemical warfare between plants,' says Stephen Duke, Ph.D., research leader a the USDA's Natural Products Utilization Research Unit.  Allelopathy occurs when plants produce natural chemicals, known as allelochemicals, that inhibit growth of competing species."

Some more points I got from reading the entire article:

The phenomenon of allelopathy was not understood until about a century ago.  Duke explained that "juglone" found in black walnut is very toxic to other plants (I've heard about this before).

"Squash can inhibit surrounding weed growth through their roots and through leaf litter that has fallen to the ground or from dead, decaying plants.  The chemicals inhibit weeds more than they impact crop plants."

A sad point is that most plants have had allelopathy bred out of them to increase yield.  As a result, Duke says, "Weeds tend to be more allelopathic than crops [because] we haven't tinkered with them."

Types of crops that can be allelopathic are a certain kind of rice, "beets, corn, wheat, oats, peas, buckwheat, millet, barley, rye and cucumber.  Additionally, several species of sage have been shown to inhibit cucumbers and oats; sunflowers impact wheat; and wormwood suppresses beans, fennel and peas.".

Mulches made from allelopathic plants can help retard weed growth.  The allelochemiclas they release break down quickly, so they won't harm the next crop you plant in that space.  Make sure that, when applying allelopathic mulches to crops, the crop plant is well established before applying the mulch.

I have heard about other crop combinations that can be good or bad (I can't think of any specific ones right now though).

The last sentence in this articles says, "Imagine a day when 'applying herbicide' means spraying and aqueous mixture of a strongly allelopathic plant!"

I just wanted to share that with everyone.  The article is entitled "Weed Whacked" and it was written by Jill Richardson.

Windmere

Male Posts : 1425
Join date : 2013-02-26
Age : 47
Location : Fayetteville, GA - Zone 7B - 8A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Three Sisters... my new word: "allelopathy"

Post  mollyhespra on 8/3/2014, 10:10 pm

I don't know how I missed this before. Great article, Windmere, thanks for posting about it!

mollyhespra

Female Posts : 800
Join date : 2012-09-21
Age : 50
Location : Waaaay upstate, NH (zone 4)

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Fascinating stuff

Post  Windmere on 8/4/2014, 10:40 am

Thank you for the comment mollyhespra.  These types of scientific facts are fascinating to me.  Who would have thunk?

Windmere

Male Posts : 1425
Join date : 2013-02-26
Age : 47
Location : Fayetteville, GA - Zone 7B - 8A

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Three Sisters... my new word: "allelopathy"

Post  GWN on 8/4/2014, 6:00 pm

that was very interesting. would like to read more about it
thank you

GWN

Posts : 2719
Join date : 2012-01-14
Age : 60
Location : british columbia zone 5a

View user profile

Back to top Go down

Re: Three Sisters... my new word: "allelopathy"

Post  Sponsored content Today at 3:18 pm


Sponsored content


Back to top Go down

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum