Thursday, 28 September 2017

Three sisters - this year's veg patch

This year I have planted fewer vegetables than usual.  Partly because I have been growing flowers for my daughter's wedding but also because, well, I was just bored of growing veg.  I am not very dedicated at growing veg and my lack of caring leads to a poor crop more often than not.  So this year I decided to only grow what I really wanted.  I have not grown any potatoes for the first time in so many years I cannot count and what I have missed in having fresh new potatoes I have gained in space.
I decided to grow courgettes as I use them in cooking a lot.  I also wanted runner and french beans, peas and some sweet corn.  I sowed some seeds and also bought some as plug plants.  I grew few of each as I did not want to get bored of them.
When it came to planting out I remembered the Native American system of Three Sisters, which should be pumpkins, climbing beans and sweetcorn.  So I planted my courgettes, beans and sweetcorn together and let them romp about.
The results have been wonderful.  Firstly I have had a nice steady crop of beans and courgettes.  I am very enamored of these yellow courgettes, they have great flavour and are rather well behaved in the glut department.
The purple beans and yellow beans have also been a revelation, especially the yellow beans which are just wonderful when eaten when small and tender.
The sweetcorn ripened last, and has also been successful this year.  I am really enjoying have fresh sweetcorn on tap.  The fact that it ripens so late in the season means that the veg season has been a long one.
Best of all I have enjoyed growing veg this year.  I have kept it weeded and looked after it.  It has looked a bit chaotic at times and in the recent strong winds the beans did collapse a bit, but I care not.  I think growing veg in this way is far more satisfying than strict rows and I shall do it again next year.  It turns out it is not veg growing in itself that is boring, it was just the way I was growing it.

5 comments :

  1. Bored with growing veg?! What wonderful heresy. I see that Lia Leendertz has become ambivalent about her allotment too. Makes sense to me - as does growing what you did how you did. Almost tempts me!

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    1. I find veg growing a chore, I think it’s too worthy :)

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  2. I'm intrigued - anything that saves a bit of space is worth knowing about! Did you plant the courgettes at the edge of the raised bed and the beans inbetween the sweet corn? I can't quite see from your photos! Any chance of a quick sketch planting plan with spacings?

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    1. Yes I’ll do a plan. I had 2 beds planted slightly differently- one was beans & sweetcorn only and one had the courgettes planted towards the edge - this was mainly so I could get to them easily to harvest but it turned out it also helped them get enough light

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  3. is it possible that this time you didn't over do it?
    I tend to do the same thing. I try to grow all kinds of vegetables and than reality kicks in.
    In no time everything is overrun with weeds and I almost get depressed when trying to see through the mess.
    I do hope you keep growing vegetables as this is really the most healthy way to go.
    Keep up the good work, just followed your blog by email

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