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Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Three Sisters Garden

You may have heard of this term before...it's a good way to grow three vegetables on one patch of soil. So if you don't have much room, give this a try!

Start out by planting corn, then plant runner bean seeds around them. Follow that by planting squash seeds around the beans. The beans will grow up around the corn stalks and the squash will soon cover all the bare soil with its leaves, creating some shade.

http://www.nativetech.org/cornhusk/threesisters.html

1. In late May or early June, hoe up the ground and heap the earth into piles about a foot high and about 20 across. The centers of your mounds should be about four feet apart and should have flattened tops.

2. First, in the center of each mound, plant five or six corn kernels in a small circle.

3. After a week or two, when the corn has grown to be five inches or so, plant seven or eight pole beans in a circle about six inches away from the corn kernels.

4. A week later, at the edge of the mound about a foot away from the beans, plant seven or eight squash or pumpkin seeds.


5. When the plants begin to grow, you will need to weed out all but a few of the sturdiest of the corn plants from each mound. Also keep the sturdiest of the bean and squash plants and weed out the weaker ones.

6. As the corn and beans grow up, you want to make sure that the beans are supported by cornstalks, wrapping around the corn. The squash will crawl out between the mounds, around the corn and beans.
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4 comments:

EJ said...

This may work fine, as long as you don't think the beans provide nitrogen for the other plants. Beans either enrich the soil or make beans - can't have both.

Angie said...

Very cool, i will plant a couple mounds see how it works out.

Linda said...

EJ said...
"This may work fine, as long as you don't think the beans provide nitrogen for the other plants. Beans either enrich the soil or make beans - can't have both."

Beans are a lugume which enrich the soil from their roots... this way you get a little of both worlds...

From: http://www.containerseeds.com/articles/snapbeanarticle.html

"They actually enrich the soil in which they are grown, which is an excellent feature of growing beans, of course."

This is a good thing because they hold nitrogen in the root nodules. So you get this feature while they grow and you harvest the beans. Although the nitrogen isn't available until the following season when they can release the nitrogen. At least that is the way I understand it.

Annie said...

Green manure can add nitrogen too, depending on what you use.

I'd just be glad to give it a try, but corn has a very hard time growing up here. I am going to try something as an experiment this year. Put it this way, I DID buy corn seed, lol!

Annie