I am working on raised beds for the 3 Sisters Garden of Corn, Beans and Squash. Last year I put the sisters in my large garden bed and they did not do very well as I think they received to much water when I was watering the other plants. This year the sister’s beds are going to be completely separate and have three different 3 ft. x 3 ft raised beds on the south side of the house. My hope is the corn will cast a bit of shade as some the stalks can grow 12 feet tall and the plants will get only the water they need and not get over watered. I should have realized different plants need different amounts of water!
If you are curious this is the new garden …backyard layout
I have added two 2 ft. x 4 ft. beds for broccoli and cauliflower with a couple of bunches of celery in each bed. Celery is one of those plants that seems to be a good companion to almost every plant. Plus, home grown celery is to store bought celery that home grown tomatoes is to a store bought tomato. Celery in the garden is easy to use as you just cut off what you need and at the end of the season you cut off all the stalks, give them a quick blanch and then dehydrate them for all those dishes in the fall.
I put all of the brussel sprouts, cabbages and most of the leaf lettuce in the front yard edible beds. I planted a lot of lettuce this year as the prices have really gone up a lot and I like having lots of green salads and sandwiches for quick and light lunches in the summer. Going with earlier plantings of lettuce in several different beds I hope to avoid the lettuce “bolting” in hot weather.
In the front yard we added a lot of flowers and cleaned up the front yard garden beds. I got some of the old dead roses dug out and added some new roses. The biggest of my problems with my Rose beds was I had no idea what I was doing when I moved into the house and the roses were too close and became overgrown because of neglect. As you can see in the top pic I have cut back the old roses that are still somewhat healthy, dug out the dead roses and while it is bit tough to see I added new roses with plenty of space between them to grow. It does not look all that impressive so far but the new roses are starting to put on new growth and the mulch is has made a big dent stopping the weed growth. Mom was also a huge help on cutting back the grape vines that got very over grown when not cut back each year.
Last but not least the Alley way beds now seem to be cleared of puncture vines though I still have some broad leaf weeds and a bit of “cheatgrass” to eliminate. Using the black walnut leaves as a killer much has worked out great and adding the wood ash from the fire place, seems? to be helping the poor clay/alkali soil in the alley. My little sedum plant from last year have come back and look darn good once you find them in the taller weeds. The sunchokes are filling and while it may not look all that impressive I’m darn pleased with the progress made on those beds. Adding more mulch, soil amendments and good plants like the sedum and sunchokes should start choking out the unwanted weeds.