The weather is hotting up and our warmth loving veg is going out. Here we’ve been planting the famous 3 sisters; corn, squash (6 types) and beans. The 3 sisters companion planting system is a stroke of South American genius that allows you to produce huge amounts of winter storers with very little input. If you’ve got a patch of ground that you’re just bringing into cultivation this system really helps to clear the ground. Simply lay down a couple of layers of card, cover with 6 inches of well rotted manure and plant under mini cloches (half bottles with air holes work great). These protect the plants not only from pests and the elements, but also from manure falling on the stems and rotting them. once the plants are established you can pull the cloches away and let them romp. The roots will work their way under the card and find all the food and water these hungry plants need.
Meet the deep root growing wall. Here we have 40 bales activated with high nitrate organic solutions such as comfrey and nettle tea, coffee grounds, fish blood and pee… yes, fish blood and pee. Once activated they can be grown in directly, and will be planted up later with 40 different crops to see who likes the growing method best. Between the bales is lose, sandy soil for roots, in which carrots, parsnips, black scorzonera, radish and spring onions have already germinated nicely.
The smart thing about the system is that at the end of the season the bales will be compost that is pulled across the beds as a winter mulch. This exposes many roots for winter eating that can be removed without damage or digging, just like a picking them off the shelf!