Saturday, 21 August 2010

Potimarron squash

It's a jungle out there!

That's what it must seem like to the many invertebrates that live in the tangle that is our 'three sisters' bed.

It was the native Americans who found that there was advantage to planting sweet corn (maize), climbing beans and squash together.

The sweetcorn provides tall strong stems for the climbing beans to climb up.
The roots of the beans provide nitrogen to the hungry maize roots.
The squash scramble around the ground beneath the corn and beans enjoying the protection.

Maize, beans and squash: the 'three sisters'.

Here a pottimaron squash is looking good in our 'three sisters' bed.

But look closely and there is evidence that this approach is great for invertebrates too. Here a ground spider can be seen on the squash. I disturbed common toad (bufo bufo) during some tidying showing that we have successfully provided great conditions for a mini food chain to thrive.

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