Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

Sunday garden blogging: post-derecho edition

Written By: Bob - Jun• 16•13

The 60-70 mph winds that came blasting through with last week’s derecho made the existence of our various crops quite “iffy” for a time, as everything that wasn’t protected from wind by the fence got flattened. I thought, “there goes the ‘three sisters’ garden,” but it actually pulled itself upright and grew tremendously. In fact, I’ve got my first sign of my first ear of corn.

The corn cometh.

The corn cometh.

Yes, that is the first corn-silk of the year. The stalks on that particular hill are at least seven feet tall now, while the other three hills range from 3-5 feet. The pole beans are climbing nicely up the stalks of the corn in the three larger hills, but have overpowered the stalks of the fourth, wimpy hill and I’ve put in stakes so the bean stalks can continue to climb.

The squash plants in this three sisters patch growing under the corn are doing a phenomenal job of blocking out all the weeds. Since they have spread, I haven’t had to do any weeding under them, just in the areas where they haven’t yet spread. Putting peppers in the corners of the raised bed might have been a mistake (I think they’ll eventually be choked out by the squash and corn), but hey… this is my first attempt at a three sisters garden, so I’m learning.

Blackberrys, under bird netting.

Blackberrys, under bird netting.

The blackberry bushes continue to grow new stalk growth at a rate of about 6″ a week, and continually flower and add berries. I’ve got plenty of fruits now, and we’re just waiting for them to ripen.

"Extras." A pair of Roma tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, and a mix of pepper plants... and yes, I need to do some weeding.

“Extras.” A pair of Roma tomato seedlings, zucchini, yellow squash, and a mix of pepper plants… and yes, I need to do some weeding.

This is a patch of “leftovers”… seeds that were planted in anticipation of some seeds not germinating. I overestimated the loss rate, and felt bad about killing those that were coming up, so I scraped out a small patch for them.

First butternut of the year.

First butternut of the year.

My wife’s butternut squash are taking off, and we have our first squash forming. We’re harvesting peas, too.

The sacrificial three sisters garden isn’t growing quite a well as I’d hoped, and that is entirely my fault. Since it is sacrificial in nature I’d neglected to weed it as well early on, and the weeds have choked out the bulk of the beans and squash. The corn is well established and doing well, though. I have noticed some Japanese beetles, though. It looks like the pest wars are about to begin.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.


  1. I just found you blog, and I think it’s great, and I’m going to put you in my links. Hope you don’t mind. Thanks.

  2. Angrymike says:

    Its a wonderful thing, that co2, the more in the atmosphere, the more lush the plants become……………

  3. Lovely garden, Bob! Happy Father’s Day!

  4. Catseye says:

    Be thank full you haven’t got a back yard full of Oak trees and squirrels. Of course acorns and squirrels are edible, but they make gardening a real pain. The oak trees block sunlight and the squirrels go after whatever grows sometimes gnawing cornstalks all the way to the ground.

  5. Critch says:

    Your soil where the squash are planted seems sandy, or is it just the light? Our garden is doing well, it’s been warm and wet lately. The mosquitos are doing great as well….weeding and hoeing is getting more and more arduous due to the heat and humidity…but it’s worth it. I really would like a garden so big someday that it will be worth canning and freezing like when I was a kid…