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I am fairly sure I once read something about American Indian people growing beans up sweetcorn plant stems for a double crop. I can't remember where I read it. Has anyone else come across this information? It seems tempting to try it maybe in big grow bags using Hester dwarf runner beans and the small corn you can use in stir-fries, but I can't remember which sort of beans and corn they used, and I have never grown sweetcorn before. Am I having daft ideas again???

Dovefromabove

Don't think sweetcorn would work in grow bags 

Hi dinah, that sounds a fun thing to do, but i expect the beans may strangle the corn? I tried the baby corn this year but it all died 😕 It was in my raised bed with new compost so not sure if maybe itvwas too cold for it? I bought plug plants not from seed? 

OK, Dovefromabove, I won't put them in grow bags thanks for that - you are right, they would need more root room. 

Thank you Pansyface! I added "squash" to my "beans and sweetcorn" search-terms and immediately found the information online. I might be able to get some sort of mini-squash to develop and ripen up here - but nothing of proper size. I have a small "fun corner" in the garden that is both sheltered and sunny. I was trying Far-Eastern vegetables in it last year, but found they did better with quite a lot more shade (proving very useful, since my vegetable garden is in shade - a conifer wood clearing).

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Lorana, maybe it will be too cold up here. We really don't get the heat in summer building up, because the sea breezes do cooling in summer, warming in winter. It could be that, as Dove suggests, there wasn't enough root room in the raised bed. I'll give it a go in the warm spot, nothing ventured nothing gained. Where did you get your plants from, were they local or ordered online?

Lorana, maybe it will be too cold up here. We really don't get the heat in summer building up, because the sea breezes do cooling in summer, warming in winter. It could be that, as Dove suggests, there wasn't enough root room in the raised bed. I'll give it a go in the warm spot, nothing ventured nothing gained. Thank you for the information, I won't have my hopes built too high (I'll have my shade-loving Chinese vegetables to fall back on if all else fails.)

Where did you get your plants from, were they locally grown, or ordered online?

Strange, my last post went up twice, once part way to finishing. Must have been the cat treading on the keyboard! Sorry for that.

Dovefromabove

We grow the sweet corn variety Swift - it crops early and copes better than most with the UK climate and lower light levels - although it's not happy in more than a little shade. 

Last edited: 27 November 2016 19:13:02

Hi dinah, i bought the plugs from my local GC, i have tried plugs from the online places but never reallly did very well, i don't think the travelling by posts helps them 😕

Thank you Dove, I will have a read about Swift (sounds like a message in a spy film with bird references). I think I will need to grow the baby corns, the days are longer up here in summer, but the season is cut off at toward the equinox, so a short and speedy growing time is important.

Loana, I don't have any garden centres near, but I agree with you about the post - it can be hit and miss ordering plants. Seed is probably my best option. Things I've grown from seed seem to do better anyway, but it is limited. Tomatoes don't seem to do much at all. I wonder how gardeners manage in Northern Scotland? Shetland Gardeners seem to manage OK with Shetland potatoes - I put a few of those in - seemed to grow well, though I've yet to dig them up. I may leave them to grow next year instead now, I expect the slugs are into this years crop.

Shrinking Violet

I think this sytem is called the "Three sisters" - sweetcorn, beans and squash.  I tried it a couple of times, and found it really didn't work.  That may be because our climate isn't quite right.  Or I may have been over-ambitious.  But I don't think I would sacrifice garden space for it again.

I tried it this yr with mini pop. 40 plants. Mini pop doesn't need pollinating, it grows to the same height as corn on cob. My plants grow to 6 ft and it can be harvest about September time.

The beans are happy to grow up the stems and don't strangle the corn. Think I planted the corn to close together though, as the squash didn't really take off, not enough light. The beans, I grew on the outer plants and also planted dwarf beans around the edge.

Excellent crop of beans and mini pop. Mini pop also needs to be picked before they get to big. It can be eaten though, straight off the plant.

In order to have a healthy plant to support the beans the corn needs to be planted in a trench like spuds and earthed up.

Shrinking Violet, I won't pin my hopes on it or try it in the Vegetable plot then. Just in fun corner. Thank you. "Three sisters" sounds so appealing. I will try for three little sisters instead.

The pollinating would be the biggest problem with a small quantity of the corn, so Zoomer44, mini pop sounds a lot more realistic for around here. Thank you - and well done with your plants! I love the miniature sweetcorn. I'll keep my eye on the depth and spacing. I think a lot may depend on me getting the things started early enough. They should get about 10 hours of sun at it's zenith for a couple of months, around mid-summer in fun corner. I am thinking of grabbing a stretch of what is now the lawn for the purpose, so the area will form a wide triangle. That space is waisted on lawn, since nobody has time to sit about on it at the hight of summer anyway. I shall have to do a bit of soil improving though - get rid of quite a few big stones and lots of small ones if I am going to achieve anything like a trench there. I can always put something else in late season if it doesn't work out (more mustard and rocket - there can never be too much mustard and rocket!.)

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