Growing the Three Sisters Posted on 10 May 10:53 , 2 comments
The Three Sisters method of growing is one of many ways to use Companion Planting in your garden. This method was used by Native Americans and taught to early colonial settlers.
The Three Sisters method is a combination of 3 plants working together:
BEANS: Legumes can deposit nitrogen into the soil from air, in a form that plants can use. Plant POLE beans and the corn stalks are a great support
CORN: Creates a support system for pole beans and attracts pollinators (see our video). Plant your favorite sweet corn or popcorn varieties
SQUASH: Both summer and winter squash will work and will shade the soil to provide a healthy growing environment.
Additional companion varieties for a Three Sisters garden include Sunflowers, bee balm, nasturtium and basil.
Last year, our Three Sisters Garden included Glass Gem Corn, Dakota Black Popcorn, Blue Lake Bush Bean, Royalty Purple Podded Bean (I know, I used bush beans), Ronde De Nice Squash and Yellow Scallop Squash.
Below is the beginning of one of our Three Sisters beds with corn, beans and squash. It's an amazing way to grow whether you have a small space or large garden.
If you're growing starters to transplant into your garden, we offer quite a few tips, tutorials and videos to help you get started.
Keep in mind that shade is not a friend to Squash. This is why we plant squash on the outer perimeter of our Three Sisters Garden. All 3 varieties are generally heat tolerant so they should be fine in full sun. Because our gardens are in raised beds, they are typically planted in lines. If you are growing in ground or have a larger area you can grow then in mounds if you prefer.
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