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Three Sisters Garden: companion planting

by FigTree

Three Sisters Garden Bonus Pack from Renee's Seeds

In the Native American tradition Three Sisters Planting was a way to garden to create a beneficial ecosystem between three plants that all help each other grow: Corn, Squash, and pole beans. Start your very own kitchen garden with these three beneficial plants and watch the bounty of your garden grow.

Keep your vegetable garden simple.  That's what I always have to remember when my tiny brain gets overwhelmed by all of the possibilities for planting raised vegetable beds .  I have been trying to organize and ponder what vegetables I will plant this year and sometimes it is just too exciting and overwhelming, so here I am reminding myself to just keep it simple!

This year I am going to try to go with the simplest plan of all- The Three Sisters (corn, pole beans, and squash) are planted together, creating a beneficial relationship between the three- the corn is the stalk that helps the pole beans climb, the roots of the beans release nitrogen into the soil that the corn needs to thrive, the corn and beans together create the shade needed for the squash to grow, and squash provides the vines that capture moisture for them all.  Ahhhh, so simple!

To make certain that the corn does not get overwhelmed by the pole bean plant the corn first until it is 4 feet in height and then then the beans and squash can be planted.



  • For a kid's gardening project with a Three Sisters Garden check out this really cool plan from
  • Or you can watch this video from Shauna Coronado on planting a Three Sisters Garden.




Three Sisters Garden, Corn, squash, pole beans, companion planting, kitchen gardening


I love this idea...i will have to try it..maybe next year! Thanks for sharing. <br/>Sandra :)
sanandreyas70 commented on 05/24/11
The Three Sisters will definitely be a part of my Spring garden plan next year. All three are my favorites and I plan to enjoy sharing the story with any visitors that I can coax out into the garden.
jmmonds commented on 07/02/10
It is a good garden to plant to make you really sounds like you know history, gardening, permaculture... all of it!
FigTree replied: on 07/12/10
From Facebook people have said: <br/> <br/>&quot;I&#x27;ve done this before when I lived in oregon. I only did a little section to try it out but it was pretty successful. Haven&#x27;t done it sense - not enough room for the corn and squash...&quot; <br/> <br/>&quot;I tried two mounds last year but I didn&#x27;t have much luck. Nothing produced very well. maybe it&#x27;s because I didn&#x27;t bury the first first. Ewww.&quot;
FigTree commented on 03/28/10
Ooh, another fun place to look for seeds! Not that I need, you know, anymore seeds. Birdfarm had to make us a SPREADSHEET for all the plant sales we want to go to!
flush puppy commented on 03/04/10
so true! but renee is so sweet and lovely that you just want to buy seeds from her :)
FigTree replied: on 03/04/10
That sounds so wonderful....I am wondering where I could plant my three sisters garden. Hmm... I always want to plant too much to fill my little space. Maybe I will think about the three sisters in a small separate bed outside the main garden. How hard is it to grow corn in Austin? I will have to check. Thanks for the info!
gardengirl commented on 03/03/10