Friday, July 23, 2010
The Three Sisters
Corn uses a lot of of nitrogen. Beans naturally contain a bacteria that takes nitrogen from the air and puts it in the soil. Corn stalks support the climbing beans. The squash shades the soil, preventing weed growth and keeps varmints out of the corn patch with it's prickliness.
It's a symbiotic relationship.
However, I have never had luck with corn. I usually end up with little tiny stalks containing small mutant ears of something resembling corn, but not appetizing to look at.
My husband tells me not to plant corn. "It's cheap at the farm stands", he says. "It's a field crop, not a garden vegetable."
This year, my corn looks strong and healthy.
I am so excited to see it's progress.
We had a rocky start.
I lost half my corn to what I think was seed corn maggots. The little stalk of corn would look withered and I'd pull it out to find it full of little white maggots by the roots. Trying to treat it organically, I'd dig out all the soil around the roots, then pour boiling water in the soil to kill any escaped maggots.
It seems to have worked. Look how beautiful my corn is now!
But for now, the tassels are ripe and the little pollen-filled "flowers" flutter in the slightest breeze.
Soon they'll be little ears for them to pollinate.
My mouth is watering just thinking of that future corn.