By: Jannie Vaught
The Three Sister Garden is a Native American way of sustainable agriculture through companion planting, in which one plant helps the others.
These make up the 3 sisters. These 3 “New World” foods have changed the course of human culture. The time is ripe to take a look at Native American Gardens.
This is a system of gardening that is by definition, an icon of biodiversity.I recommend having a look at Renee’s Garden on the internet a great place to read more detail on this particular garden.
Here’s how to make this garden. In 10ft. long rows , spaced 5ft. apart make a large 3 ft. mound along the row. I space these mounds 2ft. apart. Make a hollow place in the top of the mound to hold water. Around this, plant 4 seeds of native corn in the 4 directions, one north, one south, one east, one west. When the corn is a few inches tall plant 4 bean seeds outside the corn, then plant 4 squash seeds outside the beans. The corn is the pole for the beans the beans are the nitrogen fixed for the soil and the squash with it’s shallow root system and spreading vines it is the cover helps keep the soil moist. Now that’s an easy get started way to break into “companion” planting. Any corn will do, but there is a large range of native corn now to use. Use a runner bean and choose a winter type squash. The garden is pretty self sustaining.
If you are planting more than one variety of corn wait 2 week between planting so they don’t cross pollinate. I am plantenting this garden this week as we have sustained temperatures of over 50.
So here we go again time to get the shovel out.
Happy planting and growing with green Jannie