How to Plant a Three Sisters Garden
Any adjustments for growing in a tropical climate? I'm usually in Burma and Indonesia where corn and squash are grown year round.
As long as you use varieties that are suitable for growing in those climates, the basic idea of the Three Sisters should work for you just fine!
My name is Sue and I work for a company called GardenShop in South Africa. Your article is very well written and the explanations are very clear for a novice gardener. May we please get permission to use your article in our mailer and on our website: https://www.gardenshop.co.za/
It would be much appreciated. If you approve who should we credit. Looking forward to your reply. Stay saafe and keep gardening.
You are welcome to reference and quote our article in your own article as long it is attributed properly (“The Old Farmer’s Almanac, Almanac.com”) with a link back to this article. However, we would ask that you not duplicate more than a paragraph or two.
I find this intriguing and want to do this next spring. I have had massive problems with squash bugs the last two years and was wondering if companion planting these three would help alleviate this problem. Or if I needed to place praying mantis eggs in the garden.
I'm wondering about the sunflowers. Sunflowers typically kill most things planted around them due to some weed suppressing chemicals used by sunflowers to drown out the competition. I guess you could plant them several feet away and they would be ok.
Well, I see that although this article is dated May 2020, the comment thread goes all the way back to 2013. Questions about the type of corn appear to be addressed in the (presumed) update to the article last year. Questions about the mound, however, received only vague comments about drainage, and to Iroquois mythology.
I first heard about three sisters in the Southwest, far from Iroquois territory, and use of a mound appears to be hit or miss; even the included video might be slightly mounded but it sure isn't a foot high. And I don't understand the description of where to put the optional sunflowers (I'm trying mine in the center of the corn circle). On your next update it would be helpful to clarify these ambiguities.
The how-to video included in this post literally gives no information on how to plant these three things together...you just reiterate the same information you gave in the text. Pretty please add an actual demonstration of building the mound and planting the seeds. In the meantime I guess I am just winging it. Thanks!
1. What is the purpose of the mound? Why build it up at all? Couldn't you just plant the same layout at existing ground level?
2. Your math doesn't add up. Step 2 says to make the flat top of the mound "about 10 inches across." Step 4, however, says to plant the corn kernels on the flat top "in a circle about 2 feet in diameter." Step 4's dimensions make more sense - assuming there's a reason for the mound at all - but which is it?
I grow this every year and it works... The purpose for the mound is 1. you actually bury your fertilizer under the mound. Native Americans used fish parts but you can use whatever.. I use rabbit manure as it's plentiful here. 2. it elevates the corn and beans above the squash so you can get to the beans for picking later. Once you plant this garden harvesting is difficult but as the article states a great producer on small land. You train the squash vines (the best you can) to stay around the mounds...You should give it a try...