At the end of May I wrote about planting out the sweetcorn, squash and climbing beans into the 'Three Sisters' bed. I promised to show you how I train the plants as they grow, it's about time I posted an update . . .
Here is part 3 of Magic Cochin's method of growing The Three Sisters . . .
(Continuing from part 2)
This photo was taken exactly four weeks after planting out, after the initial watering in no further watering has been necessary and the roots have found their way down into the rich, moist compost mound. We have had a fair amount of rain, but we've also had warmth – so far this year conditions have been good for 'The Three Sisters'. You can see how the beans are climbing up the wigwam poles, I had to tie a few of them to the sticks to help them hold tight, but now they are winding themselves upwards. The sweetcorn is growing rapidly and looks extremely healthy and strong – very promising! As you can see, squash 'Marina di Chioggia' has put out a long shoot, this needs to be trained around the outside of the mound.
One of the squash plants looks different from the others; all squash have slightly different leaf shape, texture and colour but this one has silver splashed leaves and bushier growth - suspiciously like the 'Gold Rush' courgettes! Mmmm . . . looks like I got some of the pots muddled up when I rearranged the greenhouse shelves! Oh well, it's still a cucurbita after all!
The other two squash are definitely squash! The strange warty green Marina di Chioggia and this – an un-named dark orange football sized one . . .
This is how 'The Three Sisters' look today. Five weeks after planting out the Ukrainian climbing beans 'Poletschka' are heading up to the top of the wigwam and have large bright green leaves. The sweetcorn 'Honey Bantam' is making a lush clump of shiny foliage and strong stems. The squash are starting to make long trailing shoots (I push sticks into the ground to hold these in position and head them in the right direction) the first flowers are opening and tiny embryo fruit are visible.
Part 4 will show the sweetcorn and beans in flower.