Down on the Allotment

Matron grows vegetables and fruit in a courtyard garden. Which edibles will tolerate less than ideal growing conditions. Discovering how veggies can grow in partial shade.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

The Three Sisters!

There are definite signs of Autumn down on the patch, but I'm sure I haven't had Summer yet! This lovely eggshell blue squash is a close relative of the Crown Prince, this one is the original New Zealand ancester 'Whangaparaoa Crown' . Lovely dense, dry flesh which is a stunning orange colour, and supposed to be a brilliant keeper throughout Winter.
This one Rouge Vif D'Etamps is a favourite from last year, it turns a fantastic dark orange colour on maturing and kept right up till Christmas last year.
We were promised a hot Summer this year so I accepted a kind offer of some Queensland Blue squash seeds from Scarecrow down under in Australia. Despite the less than ideal conditions I have quite a few of these wonderful squash. Also deep orange flesh which is dense and dry.
Another winner this year were my Lazy Housewife beans. Long, straight and prolific, this old heritage variety should make a strong comeback. I am saving the last crop for seed.
I am thrilled with the performance of my Conqueror sweet corn. This is a new-ish variety bred for the unpredictable British climate.
Even though pollination in some places was patchy, the cobs are sweet and tender despite being left on the stalk for 3 weeks when they were already to pick before I went away on holiday.
I remember the older varieties would be tough and tasteless if you left them that long. These were grrreat! Definitely a keeper for next year.
In these two cobs you can see an example of good pollination (the top one) and poor pollination (the bottom one). This is the reason you must grow sweet corn in a block and not in a row. The pollen at the top of the plant must fall down to fertilize the tassles on the end of the cob. If they are grown in a line then the pollen might just blow away!


At 6:10 PM, Blogger Yolanda Elizabet Heuzen said...

That reminds me, I need to harvest the rest of my corn. Great pumpkins Sarah, and for once we had better weather over here than in Britain. We did have a summer of sorts I'm happy to say.

At 9:28 PM, Blogger Catherine@AGardenerinProgress said...

The pumpkins are so pretty, especially the first one. We've got all vine and no pumpkin this year. Guess we'll be buying them :)

At 1:08 AM, Blogger Funkbunny said...

Your garden looks great! I am going to try 3 sisters planting for the first time this year (I'm in Oz). I hope I can get as good a result as you.

At 3:04 AM, Blogger Scarecrow said...

Your harvests all look delicious Matron...I can't wait to get my spring crops in!

I hope you will enjoy those Qld Blues. Remember to keep some seeds from them!

At 5:13 AM, Anonymous kitsapFG said...

I should grow lazy housewife beans again. Grew them several years ago and they were indeed good producers.

The squash varieties are very appealing to look at. I am planning to harvest the first of my pumpkins this coming weekend and make a pumpkin pie or two. Lots more of them coming behind plus Buttercup winter squash as well. Nothing says fall like the arrival of beautiful squash and pumpkins!

At 5:52 PM, Blogger Nutty Gnome said...

I am SO jealous of your squashes - the sodding' slugs got all mine!

Runner beans have done very well after a slow start and I'm well happy with the sweetcorn!

New Yoprk looks like it was fun - and a lot warmer than when I was there last February!

At 6:42 PM, Blogger Kella said...

Thanks for popping by my blog will peruse yours later after dinner.

My sweetcorn is ready too, I think will be picking a few tomorrow.

At 9:07 PM, Blogger Peggy said...

We grew corn for the first time this year and it all went to seed early on as we have had a terrible summer. I will try your variety next year thanks for the advice!What will you do with all the pumpkins and squash?

At 12:08 AM, Blogger Mike said...

it is all looking brilliant - I love the range of colours and sizes of your tomatoes. Mine got blight quite early, i am sorry to report!

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Matron said...

Peggy - these pumpkins are a small to medium size and I only have half a dozen or so, so they will be easier to use. Mostly for roasting and pumpkin pie of course!

At 7:58 AM, Blogger Garden Mum said...

What a lovely crop. Our three sisters bed has produced some nice beans but the sweetcorn is still green and the squash is only now starting to show signs of growth. I'm just hoping its not too late for them.


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