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Planting The Three Sisters Garden (along with the extended family)

The most important crops to Native Americans where corn, beans and squash. The Native American gardeners learned that these crops complimented each other. Corn provides tall stalks for the beans to grow up on. Beans add stability to the corn, helping it to resist harsh winds. Beans also are nitrogen fixing, and nitrogen is important for corn to grow. The big leaves of the squash plants provide shade, to keep the soil from drying out. We took this one step further, and added the three sister’s extended family, Zucchini, Lima Bean and Wildflower.

Zucchini, being a type of Squash, offers shade to the roots. Lima Beans use the stalks, like the String Beans to climb up. Wildflowers have the most important job of all- bringing in the pollinators, which are the BEES.

How to plant

  1. Plant the corn ¼ of inch deep, 3 to a hole. Plant at least two rows. Rows should be 1 to 1 ½ feet apart. Plant corn 5 inches apart. You may also plant in a few small circles. If planting in circles, plant 5 inches apart.

  2. Plant your lima and string beans 2-3 weeks later, or when your corn is 3 inches tall. Plant 4 seeds, evenly spaced around each stalk of corn, about 2 inches from stalk, ¼ inch deep.

  3. Plant your squash and zucchini one week after the beans have emerged. Plant 3 seeds per hole, ¼ inch deep, one bunch per corn stalk, 5 inches from bean plants.

  4. Wildflowers should be planted along the out skirts of the garden. The seeds are throw and go. Throw them out and rake in lightly.

Don’t forget to water your garden, and also fertilize. We, at Sal’s, love the Garden-tone organic fertilizer. Corn is ready when the silks start to dry out. Watch out for tiny orange bug eggs on the underside of your squash and zucchini plant’s leaves. Scrape them off as you see them. Happy Gardening!

Want to learn when and how to plant? Then our SC Local, Non GMO Garden Box is for you! Check it out at The most important crops to Native Americans where corn, beans and squash. The Native American gardeners learned that these crops complimented each other. Corn provides tall stalks for the beans to grow up on. Beans add stability to the corn, helping it to resist harsh winds. Beans also are nitrogen fixing, and nitrogen is important for corn to grow. The big leaves of the squash plants provide shade, to keep the soil from drying out. We took this one step further, and added the three sister’s extended family, Zucchini, Lima Bean and Wildflower.Zucchini, being a type of Squash, offers shade to the roots. Lima Beans use the stalks, like the String Beans to climb up. Wildflowers have the most important job of all- bringing in the pollinators, which are the BEES. How to plant Plant the corn ¼ of inch deep, 3 to a hole. Plant at least two rows. Rows should be 1 to 1 ½ feet apart. Plant corn 5 inches apart. You may also plant in a few small circles. If planting in circles, plant 5 inches apart.Plant your lima and string beans 2-3 weeks later, or when your corn is 3 inches tall. Plant 4 seeds, evenly spaced around each stalk of corn, about 2 inches from stalk, ¼ inch deep. Plant your squash and zucchini one week after the beans have emerged. Plant 3 seeds per hole, ¼ inch deep, one bunch per corn stalk, 5 inches from bean plants.Wildflowers should be planted along the out skirts of the garden. The seeds are throw and go. Throw them out and rake in lightly.Don’t forget to water your garden, and also fertilize. We, at Sal’s, love the Garden-tone organic fertilizer. Corn is ready when the silks start to dry out. Watch out for tiny orange bug eggs on the underside of your squash and zucchini plant’s leaves. Scrape them off as you see them. Happy Gardening!

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