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Growing Corn, Beans and Squash Together (Three Sisters)

Category Vegetables
The tradition of growing corn, beans, and squash together for their mutual benefit began with the Iroquois. This is a guide about growing corn, beans, and squash together (three sisters).


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May 15, 2008

In the Three Sisters Garden, Native Americans grew pole beans, corn, and squash all together. How do you grow pole beans on corn. Growing pole beans on corn stalks is a matter of timing. After all danger of frost has passed in your area, create a mound of soil 10 inches high and 3 feet in diameter. Choose a tall corn variety, such as 'Country Gentlemen'. Flatten the top of the mound and plant 7 sweet corn seeds in the center, spacing the seeds about 4 inches apart. After 2 weeks or when the corn plants are at least 10 inches tall, sow 6 pole bean seeds in a circle 6 inches away from the corn plants. Plant squash or pumpkin seeds about a foot away from the corn, you will thin this to the healthiest one later. Keep the mound weeded and watered. When the pole beans are a few inches tall, train them to climb by gently wrapping the shoots around the corn stalks. Once started, the beans will continue to climb on their own.


Source: Got it from a Native American friend

By Sherry from Silverdale WA

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May 16, 20080 found this helpful

I planted these, but the slugs got EVERYTHING :(

I'm starting over since it's fairly early in the season.

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Share on ThriftyFunCheck out these photographs. Click at right to share your own photo in this guide.

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January 23, 2008

Testing Three Sisters Mound With Sunflowers and Pole Beans.

By Jim from Cave City, AR

Editor's Note: The Three Sisters planting was used by many Native Americans. It generally consists of corn, squash (pumpkin), and beans, all growing in a single mound and supporting each other.

Comment Like this photo? Yes
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