Growing Corn, Beans and Squash Together (Three Sisters)

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).

May 15, 2008 Flag
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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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May 16, 20080 found this helpful

You mentioned squash in this planting in the title.

Where are they to be planted? Also what kind?

Editor's Note: That part was left out, it is in there now. You can use any type of squash but pumpkin is a traditional option.

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January 23, 2008 Flag
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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.

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