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Three Sisters Thursday

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  FarmerValerie on 7/1/2011, 8:10 am

I'm pulling some of my corn, didn't really "make", but a few did. Need to replant 2 pumpkin seeds and "hope" they make in time. I'll be planting beans again today, lost quite a few because the squash got too big too fast and shaded out the beans, then my alternate waterer didn't soak the ground. Southern peas planted in the 2 Sisters beds did great, butter and lima beans did okay, the rest of my green beans did not. Southern peas don't need as much water as beans do, so that may be why the are doing so well, I won't combine Southern peas and 3 sisters again, until I get a drip system, even then since corn needs lots of water, and these peas don't, I may not mix them even then, not sure.

I may get some pictures up soon, the heat is getting to me lately, and when I'm done out there, I can't wait to get back in the airconditioning.

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  Cynlady on 7/1/2011, 6:25 pm

Hi FamilyGardening!
I just recently joined the SFG and I came across this forum about Three Sisters Thursday. Well I'm a day late. I want to complement you on how green your corn, beans and squash are. Very nice and I'm envious. I'm trying to achieve what you have. If I knew how to download photos, they would be here with this blog so you could see what I'm talking about. In my situation I'm growing out of raised beds 24 inches tall. In one of my raised beds, I have planted a sort of a 3 Sisters Garden. Instead of squash, I planted potatoes. I saw a blog in MotherEarth News that some amature farmers, such as I am, had substituted the squash with potatoes in their 3 Sisters Garden. The potatoes are looking beautiful, but the corn and beans, which I have planted at the north and east ends of the raised bed, are a very light green to almost a yellow. I feel the beans and corn are lacking something. This is an all organic garden and my first one in 12 years so I'm a little rusty. I just purchased Alaska Fish Emulsion and thought that would help out the corn and beans. I think, and I'm guessing at this, the potatoes are using majority of the existing nitrogen that's in the soil. What are you using to keep everything there in your garden so green? Also a few of the leaves on my bean plants had a rusty look with a few pin holes. Would you know what might be causing that problem too? I clipped off all the rusty leaves from the plants and tossed them in the trash hoping I may have stopped the spread of some bad diease they might have acquired. I would appreciate any feed back and advice. Thank you

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  FamilyGardening on 7/2/2011, 12:55 am

cynlady Very Happy thank you for the compliment!

this is my second year for SFG and first year with a garden in the ground......so I'm still new to gardening and still learning as I grow.....I'm also gardening with all organic fertilizers along with organic pest and disease control......

the three sisters garden is my new garden this year and we have planted it in the area of where our 15 + years compost pile use to be.....there use to be a apple tree in that area and is the place we would put all of our cut down limbs of other trees in our yard along with any extra grass clipping, leaves....stuff like that.....we never really maintain it as a compost.....never turning it or anything.....just over the years those things broke down into the soil.....we cut down the apple tree last year because it was really not doing well and the fruit that we got was not edible.....so we decided to put it to better use and grow a second garden......Smile

it was a lot of hard work clearing that area......along with nice composted matter there were left over sticks and such that needed to come out.....if you dig in there....you still have matter trying to compost LOL....the other frustrating part in there is the morning glory....it totally took over that area over the years......so we have ton's of vines......my husband call them an under ground high way of roots.....LOL....I'm really nervous that the morning glory is going to take over the beans and be the ones that climb up the corn LOL

when we planted we made mounds with the dirt that was there and added store bought compost to the tops of the mounds to make planting the corn, squash, pumpkins and beans easier......because there is still so much matter in the soil that is solid and needed to continue to break down....like lots of sticks....we weren't even sure anything would be able to grow in there.....LOL.....

the corn, squash and pumpkins we started inside by seed and transplanted them when the time was right for them to go out side....the beans we planted later by seed direct into the soil....we waited until the corn was at least six inch's high...

for fertilizer I use compost tea, Alaska fish em, organic miracle grow and dry fertilizer called Espoma Plant Tone......I don't fertilize on a schedule.....I'm trying to garden by learning from the plants what they need and when they need it.....when i see the leaves start to lighten up to a lighter color green or yellow i know they need some food.......the three sisters garden seems to love the compost tea and Alaska fish em the best Smile....not sure if this is the best way to go about it.....cause one of my tomato plants has bottom end rot...which is a lack of calcium......so we will see how the three sisters garden turns out Smile


LOL.....didn't mean to write so much.....i hope this helps
hugs
rose

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  FamilyGardening on 7/2/2011, 1:00 am

oh....forgot to add.....potatoes and corn are heavy feeders....for your corn and potatoes i would give them a big drink of the fish em as directed on the label.....and see if that gets them back to a green color Very Happy wait a week and give them some more if your not seeing any changes Very Happy

hugs
rose

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  FarmerValerie on 7/2/2011, 7:50 am

I would be careful with the fish emulsion and root crops, the nitrogen in fish emulsion tends to make plants look very beautiful above ground while not doing much for the roots.

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  FamilyGardening on 7/8/2011, 2:32 am

so far so good Very Happy the only problem i have run into is with my soaker hose....this is the first year ever using one....i have only used it twice so far and it has sprung some leaks that are spraying istead of soaking Shocked



the corn is so pretty.....they are to get purple husks Very Happy


i remember when they were tiny babies and thought they would never grow



the beans are climbing


the kids are so excited to find female flowers on the pumpkins cheers


hugs
rose who is having so much fun with the children in the garden.... sunny

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How do we protect the corn from raccoons?

Post  mijejo on 7/8/2011, 12:44 pm

I check on my corn every morning. Now that the cobs are starting to swell, a critter is breaking stalks and chewing on the developing cobs. So, far it is only a few, but my corn needs more time.
I have a 4.5' fence around the yard. The garden is in one corner and is enclosed (within the larger fence) with an addition 3' garden fence.

I thought I read somewhere about putting a wrap around the developing husks. However, I have forgotten the details.

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 7/8/2011, 9:07 pm

The Native Americans who used the three sisters planting arrangement found that: the beans produced nitrogen that the corn could utilize; the beans used the corn stalks to grow up to the sunlight; and the squashes made a prickly barrier to keep out pests like raccoons, squirrels, etc. that desired a corn feast. Since planting a squash barrier around the corn, we've not lost a single ear to a four-footed pest, but we HAVE had some remarkable pumpkins! This year, we have planted the Three Sisters in a bale bed (six old hay bales with good soil halfway up in the center, then finished with Mel's Mix) and have mixed results. The bale corn is way ahead of the corn planted in the white man's traditional rows; the beans quickly outgrew the cornstalks, and had to have maple tree sprouts cut and inserted in the bed to provide support as they grew up; and six winter squash plants make too much huge leaves, with a tendency to shade the corn/beans. Next time, I'll just plant 4 squashes in the corners and encourage them to vine over the side or up the fence behind. The bale bed warmed up earlier in the spring, and now generates heat which encourages the plants inside to outdo themselves--read, mature sooner. Definitely will try this experiment again next year. Nonna

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  nancy on 7/12/2011, 7:47 pm

I'm a couple days early or a few weeks behind...

The first row of corn is doing great!



The beans are getting taller, but not by a whole lot. I'm just so excited anyway!! I don't care if I get beans or not! =)

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  FamilyGardening on 7/13/2011, 2:11 am

wow your corn looks great!!!!

hugs
rose

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  nancy on 7/13/2011, 8:37 am

Thanks Rose! I've never grown corn before, so I'm just tickled! I hope the rest of the rows grow up like this one did. It's still an experiment and I'm keeping an open mind so far.

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  FamilyGardening on 7/15/2011, 2:18 am

well didnt get any pictures today.....its raining again here....i did go out and check the gardens....and wow....just from a couple days of rain....the corn is taller then me and the pumpkins and squash have grown taller and wider Shocked

the way the garden is set up we only really have one way in and one way out....not sure how we are going to get in there to harvest anything....LOL....its a jungle in there!

hugs
rose....who was happy to get some rain for the gardens but hopes to see the sun soon!

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  AprilakaCCIL on 7/15/2011, 8:42 pm

Okay here is my Three Sisters SFG Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy



I got Sweet Corn, Squash, Italian Pole Bean, Sunflowers, Borage Starflower, Wildflowers & Broccoli in the lower bottom raised bed.

Hope all comes out right and we have some good eats. Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy


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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  FamilyGardening on 7/17/2011, 4:57 pm

april your three sisters look great!

we were able to get a couple of pic's between rain fall yesterday Very Happy

its a jungle!....not sure how we are going to get in there when its time to harvest....fingers crossed it will keep the coons out as well!!



pumpkins and squash are are doing a great job guarding the corn and beans!



hugs
rose

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  capatl on 7/17/2011, 9:41 pm

Beautiful gardens! I'm in my first season of gardening experience and do a garden with my summer camp. I wish I had known about this "Three Sisters" companion gardening before we planted. Ties in a great lesson in Native American history too, HUGE plus!

We do have corn (just over knee high) and some pumpkin, watermelon (both just starting to blossom), and squash in our non SFG (another thing I wish I had known about before hand) row garden. blush

Do you think it would still work well to sow some beans near the corn and can you all suggest a typically faster producing, reliable variety?

@April, where in zone 7 are you? I am in Atlanta, I was a bit worried that we were getting our plants in a bit late. Did you select varieties that mature quickly, or is it more common than I realized to sow these veggies midsummer? I wouldn't mind sowing a few more corn! flower

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  FamilyGardening on 7/18/2011, 2:42 am

this is only my second year of gardening.....so im still learning....but...i think if you planted a bush bean it would produce faster then a pole bean would....Very Happy

hugs
rose

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  AprilakaCCIL on 7/18/2011, 4:34 pm

Thank you Rose & capatl I love you

@capatl -- I used the planting schedule here according to our zone.
The Vegetable Garden

I planted my corn on July 5th and then some more on July 12th in another raised bed.

I'm 15 miles south of Griffin GA. (zone 7b) I love you

I planted the Sweet Corn (Early & Often Hybrid) by Burpee **64 Days --purchased @ Home Depo
& Italian Pole Beans **60-70 Days & Lioness F-1 Summer Squash **45-55 Days from Seeds of Change website.

Also refer here for great growing tips for our area
The University Of Georgia

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  capatl on 7/18/2011, 8:43 pm

Thanks April! That website has been bookmarked and the planting guide and calendar printed! Very Happy

I really like that it combines 7-8, as I am on the southern side of Atlanta (just south of I20) and I feel the we typically get away with a later, less severe frost date than most of Atlanta.

So nice to meet another fellow Georgian! cheers

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  AprilakaCCIL on 7/19/2011, 10:05 am

Your welcome capatl flower

Excited to meet another fellow Georgian as well. cheers cheers cheers

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  FamilyGardening on 7/22/2011, 12:36 am

a few changes in our three sisters garden Very Happy

we have purple tassels starting to show Very Happy


beans climbing, holding and securing the corn from the wind


pumpkins guarding the garden from the coon's


squash providing shade


what a wonderful family garden Very Happy the three sisters!


hugs
rose

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  AprilakaCCIL on 7/22/2011, 1:17 am

Looks great Rose

Mine-is-a-growin'


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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  FamilyGardening on 7/22/2011, 1:47 am

wow they sure are April!!!

hugs
rose

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  AprilakaCCIL on 7/28/2011, 8:35 pm

Growin' fast. After 4 days of rain and wind, having to battle the leaf munchers. Evil or Very Mad


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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  FamilyGardening on 7/29/2011, 1:07 am

wow April they are growin fast!....the garden looks great!

After getting a few days of sun and some good compost tea....our corn is making baby ears Very Happy we were so excited to find two babies with very fine hair Laughing





here is the first baby close up.....i think she is so pretty and cute!





I tried to stand in the thick of it to get a picture.....its turned into a wild jungle....the pumpkins have been making fruit...then it just falls off and it looks mushy on the ends Sad ....the squash plants are huge, lush and green but havent made any fruit yet No ....the beans are still climbing and a few of them look like they are going to flower flower





over all i think the three sisters are doing really well....we are hoping for a warmer aug!







hugs

rose

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

Post  quiltbea on 7/29/2011, 9:31 am

How many are you growing per square?

They sure are lookin' good. I think I'll have to try that next year.

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Re: Three Sisters Thursday

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