This year, we are trying a new style of planting that we have never had the space in the past to attempt. The hubby has been chomping at the bit to plant corn since the day we put our first seed in the front yard. With our limited space, we are always seeking out ways to get the most bang for our buck. We've learned in the past, usually the hard way, how not to plant. We've learned that three tomatoes in one pot are way too many, pumpkins can take over the entire front yard, peas need full sunlight. Sometimes we just can't help but push the boundaries and experiment with how to cram as many plants into our little space as possible without effecting their yield. This time, the Native Americans have done all the experimenting for us, and we will just follow instructions (if we can control ourselves).
Early Native Americans had spiritual beliefs that tied corn, squash and peas together in perfect growing harmony, but their very successful system has been passed down through early American settlers and still remains in practice. Basically, the peas grow up the corn stalk and the squash fill in the ground below as a ground cover to choke out weeds and keep the soil moist. Genius!
Here's how it works:
You will need a 10 x 10 space divided into 3 rows. Each row is 10' long and at least 18" wide.
Start Planting when tempatures at night reach the 50's.
Use the diagram below
B=beans (any pole variety)
S=squash (like yellow neck, zuchini, pumpkin, cucumber, etc)
Plant the corn in a square, each seed being 6" apart.
Once the corn is about 4" high, plant the beans in a square fitting inside the corn 6" apart as well (3" from the corn plants). For each "S" in the diagram, plant three seeds. If all three germinate, pluck one so that you only have two squash plants between each mound of beans and corn.
We planted our corn two weeks ago, and will be ready for beans and squash this weekend...lots more pics next week!!