How To Plant Three Sisters Garden – Sustainable Agriculture With Companion Plants

How To Plant Three Sisters Garden – Sustainable Agriculture With Companion Plants
How to plant a three sisters garden. Three sisters garden is sustainable agriculture through companion planting.

Three sisters companion gardening allows one to plant the same crops in the same location season after season without the need to rotate crops. Traditionally, a fish was buried in the bottom of each hole to provide nutrients to the plants for the season at hand.

Corn is planted first, followed by beans, finally, squash is planted. Corn is the eldest sister and squash the youngest.

Corn acts as a living trellis for beans. beans provide nitrogen for the following year’s garden, and squash is a living ground cover helping to naturally prevent weeds and retain moisture in the garden.

The idea behind the three sisters garden was to grow food for winter storage without the need for refrigeration or canning. Corn, beans and squash compliment each other nutrition-wise as well and make a relatively complete meal. Corn and beans are dried and winter squash lasts a long time on the shelf providing a source of fresh nutrients throughout the winter season when little or no other plant life is to be found.

The best varieties of plants to use for the three sisters garden are flour corn, runner beans or pole beans, and winter squash.

Plants I’m using in the three sisters garden:

Golden bantam sweet corn
Indian corn
Kentucky wonder pole beans
Lab lab beans
unknown variety of pumpkin
butternut squash
spaghetti squash
unknown variety of winter squash

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25 thoughts on “How To Plant Three Sisters Garden – Sustainable Agriculture With Companion Plants

  1. MiWilderness

    12 x 25′ in all and I have another patch that will be 10×25 using Indian

  2. BackyardSolarPowerCo

    Great information, my friend. I have been hearing a lot about three sister
    planting, and like normal, you over-deliver with great information. Thank

  3. Rick Larson

    I could have planted my beans too early, based on your research, so I will
    adapt by making a teepee trellis with some 8 foot sticks.

  4. Douglas Christie

    Man, I had a hard time finding my comment to reply, you have so many,
    that’s awesome. I have come to the conclusion that planting corn seeds
    right in the ground is way better than transplanting them. I think it might
    have something to do with the tap root but that is only a guesstamation.
    The very first time I grew the Indian Corn, that I sent you, I think it was
    six feet tall or more, the second time, they grew 4-5 feet, but I had clay
    soil and I didn’t do anything such as additives or compost.

  5. MiWilderness

    The main difference between modern man and natives was most native people
    had lines regarding respect for mother earth they didn’t cross. We have no
    lines and by crossing those lines have unleashed “demons” upon the earth
    that go unrestrained wreaking havoc on nature and man. That’s why we have
    all these weird diseases and such that destroy us, our crops, our
    woodlands, fish, lakes, and streams. There is opportunity to heal and if we
    make the changes required it won’t be forced on us by nature.

  6. imstillworkin

    Good luck with your three sisters. I’ve never tried it before but I did
    plant pumpkins between rows of corn one year because folks claimed it would
    keep the raccoons from eating my corn. They supposedly don’t like prickly
    leaves. They ate all the corn and pumpkins too.

  7. MiWilderness

    You’re welcome and thanks for sharing your experience with the three
    sisters garden. The golden bantam is approaching knee high, but their
    stalks seem a bit weak. I’m hoping they will hold up. The pole beans I
    planted had only 80% germination, which is probably a good thing
    considering the corn stalks. The squash are just now poking through the

  8. MiWilderness

    Thanks! We’ve been eating lots of radishes, turnips, swiss chard, lettuce
    and other salad greens lately. The snow peas are just coming in now.

  9. jeff duvall

    The Cherokee/The 5 civilized tribes have/had a written language, and still
    do. A mass gathering of info was done and recorded when the written
    language was developed.

  10. kwo dell

    Squashes like acorn and butternut and even pumpkin were often sliced into
    thin rings, and strung on long cords and dried. Added to stews or broths
    or just boiling water and they were cooked with beans and hominy corn or
    corn mush. 

  11. Millard Waltz

    This was a wonderful video on an important method of gardening. The timing
    may be a problem in European gardens because we have cold weather in the
    summer which makes it difficult to get corn, beans and winter squash to
    germinate and grow as required. We just had a cold spell so that I’ll have
    to sow my corn and runner beans a second time. Thanks again for your
    experimentation and rediscovery of ancient knowledge!

  12. Gayle Siler

    Great video! I live in Southern Mississippi and today I’m going to try
    this method, but using a few different kinds of seeds because that’s what I
    have available. Instead of winter squash, I’m using summer and instead of
    pole beans (Kentucky Wonders) using ‘Contender Bush’ beans. Next year I’m
    going to go with what you suggested. 

  13. Julie Z

    Thank you sir, do you think it’s too late to plant from seed this week in
    New England?

  14. kittensugars

    I have heard that this is a dependable method, used for thousands of years,
    thanks for the demo. :)

  15. wildchook (Mary)

    I was just thinking of using this method this year so that I can have some
    corns growing and can utilise the stalks for the beans and squash to keep
    the soil moist.

  16. Tiersa32

    Would love to see the plants in a fully grown state… hope it all worked
    out for you!! Thanks for the vid

  17. Little Jack

    This is not how the natives did it. They made about a 4′ mound with about 8
    corn seeds planted in the center. Then beans planted outside of the corn
    then squash planted around the beans. 

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