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three sisters?

770 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Shahbazin
Hello! I hope someone can help me. I read about something called "tree sisters", corn, something and something else. I tried looking it up in the magazine I thought it was in but 4 kids have pretty much used all my brain up. Thanks so much!!
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iowahopefuls said:
Hello! I hope someone can help me. I read about something called "tree sisters", corn, something and something else.
Hi Danielle,

It's corn, beans and squash. You can find out more on companion planting by doing a google search using the keywords "companion planting" or "companion planting guide". This also gives you information of what plants don't do well together. Happy gardening!

Yep, the Amerindians planted those three sisters (maize, beans, squash or pumpkin) together. Got (nearly) three times the use out of the land. Planted (if I am remembering corrrectly) maize, gave it two weeks start, then beans when the maize was growing well so it would form a trellis for the beans, gave that another two weeks start, then squash or pumpkin which would provide a lving mulch with the leaves shading the ground that everything was growing in. The beans fertilised the soil for the next crop, so there was nitrogen for the next crop of maize.

Check details - that's the principal. You do need to give each one a start in that order or the pumpkin will just swamp everything, or the beans pull down the maize seedlings.
I'm trying this method this year but instead of squash I'll be growing melons, both cantaloupe and crenshaw. The corn will be "Kandy Korn" and the beans will be "Anasazi". I'm even growing them the way the Southwest Indians used to grow them, in a trench. Since the temperatures get so high here in the Summer and sometimes water is a problem this will keep the plants a little cooler and my water won't evaporate so quickly. The corn goes in tomorrow.
The three sisters,
Many (not all) of the tribes where nomadic. They would plant there garden in the spring and nor get back till fall. One big use of the pumpkins, it would keep out the deer and raccoon. They would plant pumpkins heavily around the corn. Deer and **** don’t like to step on the leaves. (It dozes work)
Why they didn’t come back to just stokes I don’t know, but often wondered. It would seem to me the bugs would have a field day.
Maybe there were more predator insects back then?? Or maybe the plans had its own poison or something? Will just my opinion.
Thanks Everyone for the most helpful information!! :worship: I hope it works!!!
Thanks again,
Danielle :)
i tried the corn , pole bean thing several years ago. i think i planted the pole beans too think. the beans as they grew , grew up the corn, but then the corn was almost pulled down by the beans. again, i think i planted too thick. beans sproat so fast, and corn slow, its real important to wait at least two weeks, before planting the pole beans.
I tried it last year, & it worked pretty well - but I learned through doing that you do need to let the corn grow up a bit before planting the beans (2 weeks sounds about right). Not that I had a big problem, as the beans were pretty sparse - I didn't have my "field crop" garden fenced off yet, & having several 100 lb dogs sit on your crops does damage them - the beans more than the corn. :rolleyes: The beans that lived did well, & that corn was stout enough to support anything. I had pumpkins & watermelons around the hills, & all these things seemed to confuse the gophers, as they left the beans alone. I have a small, intensive garden for herbs & salad crops, & I find that putting a few of everything all mixed together makes for less bugs & healthier plants.
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