From a distance the Three Sisters Garden looks like it is doing well, but it is having problems. The first is that the weather has been cold and cloudy for all of June and a lot of May. We have had more weather under 70°F(21°C) than over it. This is way below normal for us. Next week's prediction is the same. It is supposed to rain for the next week and be cool. The plants in a Three Sisters Garden are all heat and sun lovers. We have had neither.
Last year I picked my first zucchini on June 15th. This year the biggest of the zucchini plants is Costata Romenesca and it only has two true leaves. It is so small, but it is handling the cool weather better than the other zucchini, winter squash or cucumbers. I think I am just going to have to enjoy lots of peas and lettuce, but I don't know about squash or cucumbers. I was so counting on making pickles this summer. I hope it happens.
The other plants that aren't traditional to a Three Sisters Garden are doing great. My cilantro is very happy and my marigolds are growing like crazy. Their only flaw is that their branches aren't very strong. When we get rain they break off.
Then there is the issue of the corn and the beans. The beans are handling the cold weather with ease. They germinated quickly. They have been growing well. The corn has not. It has been growing very very slowly. It can't keep up. I was afraid of this. If I did nothing the beans would not have support and would overwhelm the corn.
So I went out and bought some 7' bamboo poles (middle row). I bought twelve of them. I also have some other supports that had gone in earlier. The earlier supports were to hold up the beans where the corn had died. I still need about 12 more poles, but at least all the precocious bean plants are now grabbing onto a pole and not the corn. Somehow I think this is not the traditional way to grow a Three Sisters Garden. I wonder how the Native Americans in New England grew their crops. If they grew them in the traditional Three Sisters way, what did they do when hit with cool summers like we are having now?