Vegetable Gardening: Three Sisters Companion Planting

From Renee’s Garden:

Corn provides a natural pole for bean vines to climb. Beans fix nitrogen on their roots, improving the overall fertility of the plot by providing nitrogen to the following years corn. Bean vines also help stabilize the corn plants, making them less vulnerable to blowing over in the wind. Shallow-rooted squash vines become a living mulch, shading emerging weeds and preventing soil moisture from evaporating, thereby improving the overall crops chances of survival in dry years. Spiny squash plants also help discourage predators from approaching the corn and beans. The large amount of crop residue from this planting combination can be incorporated back into the soil at the end of the season, to build up the organic matter and improve its structure.

Three sisters garden squasghCorn, beans and squash also complement each other nutritionally. Corn provides carbohydrates, the dried beans are rich in protein, balancing the lack of necessary amino acids found in corn. Finally, squash yields both vitamins from the fruit and healthful, delicious oil from the seeds.

  • Chicken poop is also a great fertilizer. I used some two years ago, and my tomato plant hit the soffit of the house.

  • DreamDevil

    Too bad I’m hyperactive and thus lack the patience for gardening. Looks like fun.

  • Pasha

    I never knew that bean vines and corn could work as stabilizers for each other. I’ll have to try that next year