The “three sisters garden” was originally developed by the native people of North America. This garden may indeed be “The Original Survival Garden” because it was the main means of substinance for the majority of native North American People.
A Three Sisters Garden is a fairly simple proposition to plant. Basically the three sisters garden is laid out as follows,
- Build a round bed slightly hilled about 4-8 feet in diameter
- For the first year make sure to add some high nitrogen fertilizer for the corn
- Plant 6-8 corn plants in a circle about 6-8 inches apart
- Give the corn plants about 2-3 weeks to begin growing
- Now plant 12-14 pole bean plants about 6 inches outside of your corn plants
- Now after the beans get started plant about 6-7 squash plants about 12-15 inches out side of your beans.
- As the plants grow encourage the pole beans to climb up the corn stalks and the squash vines to cover the ground between your corn and beans
The result is a highly productive symbiotic garden. The beans produce nitrogen for the corn and the corn allows the beans a natural trellis and the squash shades the ground and conserves water.
In this podcast we go beyond the basics with ideas for more variety, staging harvests and unique varieties of corn, squash and beans.