Three Sisters Garden
by Lauren Ritz
When you only have 2.87 acres to grow and raise your food, you start to see the lawn as precious garden space and less as a lawn full of pretty green grass. If I am going to water something daily, I need to be eating it!
Corn, beans and squash are known as the three sisters, because they thrive when planted together. The corn offers support to the beans to grow up their stalks. The beans, pull nitrogen from the air and bring it to the soil to benefit all three plants. The large leaves of the squash protect all three by creating mulch that shades the soil, keeping it cool and moist to prevent weeds.
The farmer’s almanac shares this as their how-to planting guide for a three sisters garden:
Make a mound of soil about a foot high and four feet wide. When the danger of frost has passed, sow six kernels of corn one inch deep and about ten inches apart in a circle of about 2 feet in diameter in the mound.
When the corn is about 5 inches tall, plant four bean seeds, evenly spaced, around each stalk. About a week later, plant six squash seeds, evenly spaced, around the perimeter of the mound.
For us, we had a long rectangular area in the front yard for a three sisters garden, instead of this circular idea. So we planted four rows of 18 seeds each, the bean seeds were sown in the front of the last corn row, and then squash on the other side of the corn. The corn and beans are doing tremendous! But for us, the squash had a great start but now seems to be getting burned by the hot summer days. Lessons are learned in the garden every year!
Hoof And Feather Farm NH