Do you need to rotate the three sisters?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Gypsy, Mar 22, 2005.

  1. Gypsy

    Gypsy Well-Known Member

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    Is it necessary to rotate a plot in which I have planted the three sisters or do the corn and the beans keep the soil at sort of an even keel nutrient wise? My concern with corn is that I don't want to rotate corn through all four of my garden plots as then two years out of four the corn will be in the Southern most plots and shade the Northern most. Anyway I though if I had a single plot at the back (north) of my garden that year after year I could plant corn it would solve the problem. Did that make sense?
     
  2. AnnaS

    AnnaS Well-Known Member

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    Are you planting the 3 sisters traditionally, all 3 together in a hill, or in separate plots?
    If they are in hills, the beans should add enough N to maintain the corn. In my limited experience, traditional Native flint corn does a lot better in this situation than modern corn varieties that were developed in heavily fertilized soils.

    You could keep planting corn in the northern plots but it would have to either be fertilized- manure or fish- and/or planted with a inoculated legume. Corn takes so much out of the soil, you have to add back in every year.
     

  3. bethlaf

    bethlaf Homegrown Family

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    i would tend to agree, tends to depend on the corn , i find that the heirloom early golden bantam , which isnt a bantam, but a full sized ear works really well with 3 sisters plantings, what i do is make the hills for the squash , and plant the corn between them , then beans between that, but i also add bunny or goat poop to the garden as a general measure, except where iplant carrots, i hate hairy roots !
    good luck
     
  4. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I had a new garden plot in Lexington (Maine) this summer and the soil (haha) is just about like beach sand. We put a pickup truck load of goat poop and hay (mixed barn litter) and tilled...planted corn first of June (short season sweet from Agway) and then I top dressed with more barn litter in July. The corn did great as well as the green beans and squash and pumpkins and I plan to use the whole garden for corn with squash and pumpkins on the outside and pole beans up the stock...but I am going to put another truckload on and topdress again (it keeps the weeds down) and holds moisture because it is so SANDY. The barn litter that was tilled was 9 months old but I top dressed with fresh....goat poop doesnt burn.

    Here in China there is a lot of ledge and the soil is heavy and clumpy but we just keep adding the barn litter and it gives us wonderful yields. We have used cow and horse manure before but never again!

    The soils across the state vary wildly so if you havent you might want to test it...like $10 at Agway (home test) and amend as needed. We did this test and it made a huge difference in our yield once amended.

    I think so long as you replenish the nitrogen adequately you will do okay. We have grown tomatoes in the same place for 10 years. They just get more fruitful!

    Gosh I can't wait to plant my garden....I cant even see the soil....just snow!
     
  5. athome in SD

    athome in SD Well-Known Member

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    ok- feeling really silly,
    what are the 3 sisters??

    Christina
    athome in South Dakota
     
  6. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    The growing of Corn, Squash, and Beans together.
     
  7. athome in SD

    athome in SD Well-Known Member

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    Thank you-

    I can understand the corn and beans, what does the squash do?

    Christina
     
  8. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Usually corn is planted first. When it grows about a foot high, the pole beans are planted to get started growing along as the corn grows higher.
    Now, the squash or pumpkins can be planted and they spread along the open ground amongst the corn. The big leaves keep weeds down too.
     
  9. athome in SD

    athome in SD Well-Known Member

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    thank you that is a very wise idea.

    Christina
     
  10. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    And racoons do not like to walk on squash (prickly) vines to eat/steal the corn.
     
  11. big rockpile

    big rockpile If I need a Shelter

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    Can you just plant them all at once,and at what rate per hill?

    big rockpile
     
  12. athome in SD

    athome in SD Well-Known Member

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    Racoons at our house dont mind the prickly vines they stole my squash too !
    seriously-
    Christina
    athome in South Dakota
     
  13. suelandress

    suelandress Windy Island Acres Supporter

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    I've read that you should plant the corn first, as otherwise, the beans will outgrow it and have nowhere to climb....and shade the corn.