The Sweet Corn could go either way. Most of the plants are a lot less vigorous than I would have expected, and nowhere near as tall - with one exception: the plant which had initially seemed to be the "runt of the litter" is now looking the strongest, and is at least two feet taller than any of the others.
Each plant has produced a cob, with its frilly mop of silks:-
Up at the top of each plant a flower forms. With the exception of the one good plant, the flowers have been very thin and spindly. This is what they are supposed to look like:-
The theory is that when the plant sways gently in the breeze, pollen falls from the flower down onto the silks of the cob. The trouble is that when most of the flowers were at their meagre best the weather was so atrocious that I fear that the pollen will have been washed away and not gently wafted down onto the cobs.
However, the third of the sisters is looking a bit stronger. The "Cherokee Trail of Tears" bean plants are doing a lot better than last year, when I felt that they were a bit feeble. They have lots of flowers now
and some tiny pods too...
The beans are belatedly reaching out to the corn stalks for support. I think it was a good thing that I erected a wigwam of wooden poles for them though. The spindly corn-stalks would definitely not have been enough on their own.
Not content with staying at home, the Cherokee beans are reaching out to make friends with their neighbours the Runners. Looks like the feelings of friendship are mutual...
I’m trying the Cherokee beans for the first time this year and the flowers are so pretty-like sweet peas! Fingers crossed for a good crop but there are not that many flowers..
It is frustrating when things dont go quite to plan isn't it. Are the beans a purple podded variety?ReplyDelete
These beans have pods of several different colours simultaneously! Some are purple, some are green, ripening to a buff colour and some are streaky. The beans inside are small and glossy black.Delete
I always thought Trail of Tears was some mutant alien trying to take over the world. They really do like to spread.ReplyDelete
I have always wanted to try the three sisters planting but I think corn works much better in large fields and soil that isn't clay. And I think if you have a field of corn and beans planted at just the right time, the system might work but it just doesn't work on a smaller scale.ReplyDelete
I really enjoyed your picture of the beans reaching out to each other :)
It looks like the beans hogged all the sunlight. They say it is important to grow the corn close together so the fertilization works. Some varieties will produce extra cobs if mulched heavily.ReplyDelete
JB: I planted my corn pretty close - about 8" apart, in a circle so that pollination would be aided whichever way the wind blew. Maybe it will have worked...Delete
We are still waiting to see whether we will have corn of not this year.ReplyDelete
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I too like the way the bean plants are reaching out. There is one corn plant with one ear in my garden. It is a volunteer from the bird seed!Delete
It will be interesting to see how this experiment develops - I don't bother with sweet corn any more - I have only successfully grown it once. As for the squashes - well I have tiny fruits but it is so late in the season I don't expect they will amount to much - it was worth having a go though.ReplyDelete