Thursday, June 26, 2008

Gardening - Part Three

Along with going to the farmer's market on Bidwell Ave I like to watch the garden shows on PBS. One of the shows showed a woman and her traditional food garden. One section had plants that compliment each other. She had combined corn, pole bean and squash which are all native to North America. I believe the bean plant fixes nitrogen in the soil which helps the corn and squash grow. The corn acts as a trellis so the pole bean can grow up the stalk. The squash vines grow on the ground and probably have another purpose as a compliment. Possibly the squash works as a ground cover helping to keep moisture in the soil and not evaporate.

I potted sunflowers with pole beans and pumpkin. I thought both the birds and my family would like the sunflowers. The beans and pumpkins will be fun too.

Surprisingly, the cotton tail bunnies seem to prefer the clover patches we left in the lawn and gardens then the food plants. The squirrels ate about a quarter of the sunflower seeds I planted directly into the garden beds but I put 3 seeds in each hole so no harm done. Nothing seems to be eating the plants which are now 3 feet tall. So, far so good.

I really did not know what to expect. But I am on my way to being an urban farmer.

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