Windy garden, should I stake corn when young? (3 sisters method)

Discussion in 'Planting, growing, nurturing Plants' started by Diggman, Jul 5, 2014.

  1. Diggman

    Diggman Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Greater London, UK
    Climate:
    Temperate, always cloudy, lots of rain (& slugs)
    Found one of my corn plants is almost at a 45 degree leaning angle and I know its been quite windy lately, should I stake them for a few weeks / months? they have been going in the ground in batches since over a month ago and this group went in about a week - two weeks ago.

    further, I am using the 3 sisters method, turns out my beans are mostly bush variety with only a couple climbers surviving, should I plant anyway or not bother? this is my fist attempt at corn and the 3 sisters so even if I just learn from mistakes this year I'm quite happy with that however, making it work is still preferred! ;)

    Thanks and enjoy your weekends ! (I'll be working! :think: )
     
  2. eco4560

    eco4560 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2009
    Messages:
    5,925
    Likes Received:
    8
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Can't help with the wind question as it isn't an issue for me. But I can see no harm in staking (apart from the sweat involved). The bush beans are unlikely to do well in the shade of established corn plants and with squash leaves getting in the way. I'd source more climbers.
     
  3. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2010
    Messages:
    1,016
    Likes Received:
    9
    Trophy Points:
    38
    My dad put a few stake in each row and strung string between them to keep the corn upright.
     
  4. adiantum

    adiantum Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    If the corn is still not at full height, you could plant more climbing beans, if you still have enough growing season left to mature them. The vines will tangle the corn together and help hold it up. Another hint, again depending on how tall the corn is and how accessible, is to hill it up....pull the soil up around the base of the stalks a few inches. If the corn is still not full size....say a meter tall or less, more roots will grow out from any nodes you bury and these will help buttress the stalks. If the weather is wet sometimes these roots will grow out anyway, even into damp mulch, looking like stilts off to the side....
    Yet another hint, especially after the corn is tall (say, forming tassels), is to tie adjacent stalks together at the top, in groups of 3 or 4 together. The result will be 'pyramids' which will withstand a lot more wind than separated stalks.....
     
  5. aroideana

    aroideana Junior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
    Messages:
    301
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    0
    my take on 3 sisters method .... beans are planted close to when corn is ready to harvest ...
    utilising near leafless stems to climb .. after beans are harvested .. pumpkins are grown over all trash .
     
  6. adiantum

    adiantum Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2012
    Messages:
    121
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    This method might work in a very long, or year-round (tropical) growing season. The methods I'm familiar with are assuming a temperate or wet/dry climate where all three are growing together a significant part of the time, even if the corn is usually planted first. In addition, one would need to be sure to plant a strong-stalked variety of corn. Most sweet corns, of short height and meant to be gathered immature, will break down quickly once harvested, especially in a wet climate. Another possibility would be to add another strong-stalked tall plant to the mix....such as sunflower or even okra, to provide additional support (and yield diversity)...
     
  7. Benjy136

    Benjy136 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,104
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Here in South Carolina, I planted the corn first and upon the appearance of the sprouts, planted the Kentucky Wonder beans between the sprouts. The butternut squash (because it is more of a ground, as opposed to climbing, squash) seeds went in about six feet apart at the same time.


    The bean vines have held the corn together, even when we had some strong winds earlier this Summer. The squash has acted as a thick shade, keeping the "weeds" to a minimum within the tract, and have produced some very nice fruit.

    As some of you may know, my health was struck down and it left me unable to work my garden. I'm making a GREAT recovery now, though. Anyhow, I had planted three kernals about 8 to 9 inches apart and planned to remove two of them when I decided which was the most robust. This never happened and, being overcrowed, my corn did very poorly. Some of the stalks on the perimeter produced fairly well, but the rest of the ears were puny with several of them strangled by the bean vines.
    The beans are producing very nicely and I'll be in the garden today, hopefully and pick off enough for a few days to go with some of the smaller variety potatoes. I've been cutting off the cornstalk leaves to give more light and space to the vines.

    The corn may have been a disaster, but the space was not wasted, as the squash and beans have made a good showing. Just have to watch where I step so as not to mess up the squash vines.

    Thanks for your time, and I am really getting back to my old self. Praise the Lord.
    Benjy136
     
  8. Benjy136

    Benjy136 Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,104
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Adiantum;

    Sunflower may not be the best option as it can be very territorial .
     
  9. Diggman

    Diggman Junior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2014
    Messages:
    105
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    16
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Greater London, UK
    Climate:
    Temperate, always cloudy, lots of rain (& slugs)
    hmm thanks for that! Even jerusalem artichokes provide a good strong stalk too, maybe too much shade though ??

    Unfortunately we have a short growing season here in London, good news is I will have my polytunnel finished in the next day or two


     

Share This Page

-->