Growing pole beans on sweet corn

gldno1November 23, 2008

Ceresone, since you seem to have done it all...have you ever done this like the pioneers did?

I keep thinking I should try this. My hoop house just gives me about 20 feet of row.

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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

LOL, Glenda-wouldnt you know I would have tried it--if I ever heard about it? I even tried the "three sister", as the Indians did, I was told. I found adding squash to the mix made it too hard to get around in the garden. But, yes, the corn and pole beans did excellent together. that was 2 years ago!
I did the hoop 3 years ago, liked it well enough, but it didnt perform as well as I'd hoped, I have better luck in my garden using the panels, as panels. The front of my garden is made out of panels, my raised beds butt up against it, so, now, I just make a row of the pole beans along the end of the first and last bed, and let them grow on the perimeter fence.
BTW, I really like the "Fortex Bean", not as good frozen or canned, but in my estimation, best fresh.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 8:24AM
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I haven't tried it but have heard of the Three Sisters method. I don't know if planting squash benefits the other two. Maybe shading the roots like a living mulch?

Here's a link that tells about the Three Sisters. If you click on next page at the bottom, it says they mounded soil up around the corn to help support it.

Here is a link that might be useful: Three Sisters

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 9:06AM
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Shading roots as a living mulch is one benefit of growing squash with beans and corn. The other benefit is that raccoons don't like the feel of squash leaves, so it deters them. You might do just as well to plant squash around the perimeter.

The most important thing to consider in the planning stage is the mature size of the corn plants versus the mature size of the pole bean plants. A lot of sweet corns are very short compared to the field corns that were traditional (sweet corn is relatively new). Pole beans can often get to be too big and overwhelm 6' to 8' corn plants, dragging them to the ground. For that matter, squash can climb as well...

What I do is plant either melons or bush squash with sweet corn, and either bush or runner beans. The sizes fit better, and you still get the benefit of nitrogen from beans and shade from cucurbit leaves. Always wait until the corn is at least a foot tall before planting the other two sisters with it.

    Bookmark   November 24, 2008 at 10:57AM
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Christie, I always "hill" up my sweet corn rows when they are about 18-24 inches tall. That is what Dad taught me.

Ceresone, I knew you wouldn't let me down!

seedsonshirt, that is some good advice about the runner beans.
I know the teepee pole beans caused me some grief. The beans were so tall they just curled together at the top and fell over. That's why I like the hoophouse they can go up over the top to their heart's content. Maybe I just need another hoop house or an extension on this one.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 5:17AM
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ceresone(missouri ozarks)

Glenda, 3 panels, wired together make a awesome hoophouse, just be sure you stake the first two. I used t-posts. The plants that needed shade, I planted under it--now mind you, this covered 3 rows. Frankly, I didnt care for it, but it did perform well.
I decided several years ago that there was a lot of garden ideas I hadnt tried-and time was running out-so I experiment some each year, different ways, different plants.
Not much left to try this year, so I'm not trying as much--didnt care for Romanesco broccoli, or purple, same in cauliflower.Do like to have all the colors of bell peppers in the freezer, so will do that again.

    Bookmark   November 25, 2008 at 8:38AM
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mine is three wired together.... but still not quite enough room. I may do some teepees again this year. I bought a bundle of bamboo poles a long time ago and still have some left.

My lettuce under the hoop didn't work well for me...not enough light I guess.

Here is a new one I may try this year. Been reading about it, purple sprouting broccoli.

Here is a link that might be useful: Purple Sprouting Broccoli

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 6:25AM
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What do they mean by overwintering in the Purple Sprouting Broccoli description? Does that mean that it stores for a long time after it's harvested or do they grow it through the winter?

Well now you've got me looking through the Baker Creek website again. lol

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 9:15AM
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helenh(z6 SW MO)

I know nothing about this but my first thought was it says it is an English variety. It doesn't get as cold there. I used to read garden books about unheated greenhouses; they were English gardeners. It gets cold but nothing like we get because of the surrounding ocean.

    Bookmark   November 26, 2008 at 6:11PM
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