A Ton of Garden, A Tiny Space: Planting Guide for Corn, Beans, Squash

Sorry for the big delay on this.

I drew a lovely scaled chart on my computer … took forever, too. When I went to save, the program crashed. I cursed heartily.

Instead, we will talk it through.

Let’s Begin:

What to plant:

Any kind of corn is fine. Well, maybe a dwarf corn would be too short, but other than that the options are open. Do you want corn on the cob? A sweet or super sweet for you. How about Indian corn for decoration? Or maybe you would like to dry it in the field to make corn meal or feed your backyard animals. If so, choose a field or dent corn. Then, of course, there is popcorn– pink “strawberry” popcorn, Japanese hull-less… Oh! the list just goes on and on.

However, you must either pick just one kind of corn or two varieties with very different maturation times. Also, remember that corn pollinates by wind so “clump” planting works best. If you are a beginner, please stick with just one variety of corn.

A nice viney squash that will wander through the corn patch is perfect. No bush varieties. Perhaps, a nice pie pumpkin. Personally, I’ll be planting Table Queen Acorn Squash, because it is prolific, keeps well and tastes delicious with a little brown sugar and butter.

A nice pole bean. Again, don’t choose a bush variety. Beans for drying, beans for canning, freezing or eating fresh, as long as it is viney. Probably the most famous varieties that come to mind are Kentucky Wonder and Blue Lake.

When to plant:

About 1 or 2 weeks after your last expected frost date. There is an old timey way to check soil temperature, but I’m not sure your gonna want to practice it in close quarters.

Sit your naked bum in the soil and if the temperature is comfortable, it is time to plant the corn and squash.

Or just Click here for a climate map

Once the corn is about a hand span ( for me that’s 6 “) high, it is time to plant the beans.

How to plant them:

There are a few different configurations. You could try this way or search the internet for the more traditional Native American configuration. Your Choice.

In a nice sunny spot, where there is no less than 6 hours of sun per day:

1. Plant the corn seed in North-South rows about 1 foot apart with no less than 3 feet between rows.

2. Plant the squash in hills between the corn rows, according to packet directions. However, place the hills a little further apart, because of all that is going on here.

3. Plant a few bean seeds …say, 4 seeds… around each corn shoot … about 4-6″ away from the corn shoot.

Later in the season, after you harvest the corn and beans, cut them down. The squash likes more sun as it matures.

Don’t forget to save those bean vines to feed your backyard animals through the winter. I’m not sure who likes a bean vine treat more: the chickens or the rabbits.

I’m sorry I can’t get my little chart here for you.

Did any of that make sense?

Why do we plant it this way?

Click here for the original article on the 3 Sisters

Here are some other small space articles

A Ton of Garden, A Tiny Space: Ideas for Space

A Ton of Garden, A Tiny Space: Strawberries for the Apartment Dweller and Suburbanite

A Ton of Garden, a Tiny Space: Choosing the Right Strawberries for You

Windowsill Herbs

Let’s go get a cup of coffee. Join me will you?


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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I really don’t know how you did this in such a short time, you 24 hour blogger!!!! You have soooooooooooo much information on here. The one about “you’ll do WHAT with that egg?” — fun and funny and I can’t say I ever washed my hair with something other than shampoo! I’ll keep reading a little every day. Your knowledge and creativity — much appreciated. Refreshing style and fun to read.

  2. (Neighbor Nancy peeks from behind her apron with very rosy cheeks)
    Thanks. I actually only started 1/26/09. I just dove right in. The best way, I think.
    Here have a glass of strawberry lemonade.

    Thanks for the visit. See you again soon.

    Terri got me drooling with her post the other night and sent me on a wild goose chase… or perhaps, an on-sale chicken chase.

  3. Love your blog! It’s smart and fun and useful and varied and all the good things writing should be. I’ll keep checking in. You’ve been at this for a while, I’m just getting started (writing, that is). Thank you for finding me so I could find you!

    Thanks! Terri

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