Ask a Question forum: 3 sisters garden

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Grady56
Feb 25, 2018 6:21 AM CST
Any tips first time planting the 3 sisters garden in Northeast
Ohio?
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
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joannakat
Feb 25, 2018 8:15 AM CST
Grady56 said:Any tips first time planting the 3 sisters garden in Northeast
Ohio?


Welcome @Grady56!

Is it possible that you've posted your question in the wrong place? There's an Ask A Question forum that might be helpful, and there's an article here that might be helpful: https://garden.org/learn/artic...

You've posted in the NARR announcement for spring, 2017. But watch for the announcement about the next NARR (Not A Raffle Raffle)! It's a lot of fun and you might even win something!
AKA Joey.
Name: Tiffany purpleinopp
Opp, AL 🌵🌷⚘🌹🌻 (Zone 8b)
Houseplants Organic Gardener Composter Region: Gulf Coast Miniature Gardening Native Plants and Wildflowers
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purpleinopp
Feb 28, 2018 9:49 AM CST
What an fun thing to do! The veggie forum folks should have some advice to offer. I'm surprised to see no responses yet but it's still so very early in the season. I've not done it but always thought it sounded interesting.

Old Farmer's Almanac & Rodale's are sources that speak from experience:
https://www.almanac.com/conten...
https://www.rodalesorganiclife...
👀😁😂 - SMILE! -☺😎☻☮👌✌∞☯🐣🐦🐔🐝🍯🐾
The less I interfere, the more balance mother nature provides.
👒🎄👣🏡🍃🍂🌾🌿🍁❦❧ 🍃🍁🍂🌾🌻🌸🌼🌹🌽❀☀🌺
☕👓 The only way to succeed is to try.
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member Plant Database Moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Plant Identifier
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jmorth
Feb 28, 2018 11:11 AM CST
Thanks for shedding some light on the subject Tiffany.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Joanna
North Central Massachusetts (N (Zone 5b)
Life & gardens: make them beautiful
Million Pollinator Garden Challenge Vermiculture
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joannakat
Feb 28, 2018 11:13 AM CST
purpleinopp said:What an fun thing to do! The veggie forum folks should have some advice to offer. I'm surprised to see no responses yet but it's still so very early in the season. I've not done it but always thought it sounded interesting.

Old Farmer's Almanac & Rodale's are sources that speak from experience:
https://www.almanac.com/conten...
https://www.rodalesorganiclife...


I think there were no replies because it was originally posted in the wrong place. But it's in the right place now so...! Thumbs up !!! Will be great to learn more about it!

AKA Joey.
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Feb 28, 2018 11:32 AM CST
I belive , it's something like , planting corn, pole green beans, and bush squash, together, in rows. Space, as directed on package. Corn supports beans, bush squash grow underneath.
Any other tips you need ?
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Feb 28, 2018 11:38 AM CST
Philipwonel said:I belive , it's something like , planting corn, pole green beans, and bush squash, together, in rows. Space, as directed on package. Corn supports beans, bush squash grow underneath.
Any other tips you need ?
😎😎😎

You have that right but it should be noted , it was originally done not because it gave a greater yield, it does not , it reduces yield, but due to limited resources of the people that had to use it.
I found my little book on plants that do not like to be planted next to each other, which is nearly all but there are a couple that do well together.
I will have to give it a quick read .

If you are space limited , go for it.
If you are not , it has no advantages.

Name: Rob Duval
Mason, New Hampshire (Zone 5b)
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robertduval14
Feb 28, 2018 9:08 PM CST

Plants Admin

There are some advantages...

The corn supports the the beans, giving them space to climb...
Beans, a nitrogen fixing plant, pulls nitrogen from the air and delivers it into the soil. Corn and squash both benefit from this (especially corn, which is a nitrogen hog)...
And the squash, with it's sprawling habit, provides shade that keeps the soil moist and cool and helps to prevent weeds.

All that being said...I've never grown them this way and likely won't, but that's just cause the way I'm doing things now seems to work just fine.
Cleveland, OH (Zone 6a)
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FrugalGramma
Apr 11, 2018 5:54 AM CST
I have not tried corn or pole beans yet and want to try this 3 sisters experiment. I have a raised bed set aside that is 6' x 6' beautiful soil in full sun (all I could manage with my space) and wanted to ask if anyone can give me an idea of how many hills would be a good idea. I think 4 hills of 5-6 corn plants each hill and about that many beans and 4 zucchini in each valley. Do you think it will be too crowded? I decided to go with half runner (pintos) because of other advice.
Minnesota and Alaska (Zone 3a)
freezengirl
Apr 11, 2018 6:25 AM CST
Welcome Frugal Gramma! I have planted the three sisters garden plan before but didn't have much luck with it. I understood it in theory but planted everything at once which was a mistake. In my very short growing season it is a trickier way of planting and takes more thought then I had put into it regarding the growth of the individual plants. The only real value for me was the living mulch that was formed by the squash and that would have happened no matter how I had planted it. I do think your 6' x 6' garden might be to small to plant that heavily. Here is a link that I think might be useful as a starting point for learning more about this technique. http://www.wfan.org/wp-content...
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Apr 11, 2018 7:33 AM CST
FG Howdy I tip my hat to you.
Only thing I would change is, cut the zucchini to two plants per hill.
Feed them manure every month.
I believe you'll, or should I say, 🤔!!! They, will do good.

You're the crew chief !
You have to take care of your workers ! ( THE PLANTS ! ). :))
HE. HE. HE. 👍👍

Ta. Ta.
Philip 😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Cleveland, OH (Zone 6a)
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FrugalGramma
Apr 11, 2018 10:37 AM CST
Thank you so much
@Freezengirl: I will cut back the corn (per the link) to 4 in a hill. Also I thought that the nitrogen was fixed during the growing season, but the link says it takes a year to get it to the corn. Good thing that soil is from my oldest beds and the best I have!

@Philip: I was going to plant 4 zucchini in the whole 6' x 6' (not in each hill). Do you still think I should only have 2 in there?
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Apr 12, 2018 6:32 AM CST
Grammar : )
Miss.Communication got in the way. Blast her ! Angry Rolling on the floor laughing

Six foot, by six foot bed, Right ?
Four hills, Right ?
I would say, you could probably put, two squash plants on each hill.
A total of eight plants.

Have FUN 👍😀
😎😎😎
Anything i say, could be misrepresented, or wrong.
Cleveland, OH (Zone 6a)
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FrugalGramma
Apr 12, 2018 7:22 AM CST
Thank You!
Name: Vickie
Elberfeld, Indiana, USA (Zone 6b)
Bee Lover Garden Photography Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Daylilies Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Region: United States of America
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blue23rose
Apr 13, 2018 6:55 AM CST
Found this bit of info on three sisters gardening and just wanted to share.

http://www.angelmounds.org/exh...
Vickie
May all your weeds be wildflowers. ~Author Unknown
Name: Yardenman
Maryland (Zone 7a)
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Yardenman
Apr 13, 2018 7:10 AM CST
I've tried that twice without much success, though I still like the concept.

1. Modern corn is shorter and has thinner stalks. They may need some support.

2. Modern squashes don't like to climb much. You may want an OP variety.

3. Pole beans can take over the corns. But I like flat italian ones so that might make a difference.

Best of luck and I hope to see a great 3 sisters garden. You'll never know if you don't try it...

Cleveland, OH (Zone 6a)
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FrugalGramma
Apr 22, 2018 4:05 AM CST
Thank You! Blue23rose & Yardenman

I am going to plant the corn first and get some growth out of it before planting the pintos and lastly the squash. I'm going to ask our fish store if they can give me some throw-away pieces so that I can bury it beneath the hill like the Native Americans did. If I am successful I will let you know!
Cleveland, OH (Zone 6a)
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FrugalGramma
Aug 6, 2018 1:29 AM CST
Well well well. May the people who came up with this idea rot in their compost heap! What a mess. Corn falling over from the weight of the vines, squash in too much shade and has produced poorly, and now the beans look like they have rust because of the closeness and probably lack of air circulation. Disgusted!

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