Butternut takeover

I may have stumbled onto something accidently. In April I planted a corn patch and underplanted it with butternut squash. Both did ok and we ended up picking a couple dozen butternuts. I cut off the corn stalks but didn’t bother pulling out the squash vines. They looked like they were dying off on their own and I decided to just let nature takes it’s course. I loaded that whole area with new compost which covered over most of the squash vine but still left old, dying leaves exposed. The plan was to let the plot sit dormant for a month or two then till it all and replant corn and butternuts for a fall crop. Turns out that covering the old vines with compost encouraged the vines to put out new roots all along the vine and basically start a whole new growth cycle. So the area is now green and growing with plenty of brand new baby squash forming. That has interfered with my plan to replant the corn patch since the clear area I had expected is now a lush plot of butternuts but I went ahead and put in corn seed anyway to see what happens. I think that may work out ok with the squash shading the young corn shoots for the first few weeks.

I’ve mentioned in the past a secondary garden that was a firepit in a former life. I thought I had built up the soil in the pit enough to keep up with the main garden but I was dead wrong. Everything planted there was a duplicate of something in the main garden but the growth and output was less than half. I had mentally chalked it up to nematodes but on pulling out the plants, found the roots clean and sound so the probably has to be a general lack of nutrients. The new plan is to let it rest until next spring but in the meantime keep loading it with dead leaves and other brush. I already have about 10” of leaf matter on top and will just keep adding more for the next 9 months with maybe tilling it occasionally. I even raked out some lake bottom material and loaded that in the mix – six 5 gallon bucket loads to be exact. It’s only an 8‘x10′ area, almost inconsequential in the big scheme of things, the fact that it’s isolated makes it a perfect place to experiment with new things. I’ve decided to make that area the show piece next season.

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