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Best Way to Plant Corn, Beans and Squash [HOW TO]

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I remember my Mom talking about “the three sisters” when I was young.  She actually had 4 sisters so it always confused me, but then again, I am easily confused.  Every May my Mom would bring up these 3 sisters and now I know what she was talking about.  The 3 sisters has to do with happy companion plants in your garden.

“The three sisters” are corn, pole beans, and either pumpkins or squash.  Unlike maybe you and your 3 sisters, these girls get along very well with each other.  The planting method dates back to early America.

The Old Farmer’s Almanac has some good planting advice when planting the three sisters.  It starts with making a mound of soil at least a foot high and 4 feet wide.  You should first plant 6 corn kernels an inch deep and 10 inches apart in a circle of about 2 feet in diameter.  Of course, do water.  “When the corn is about 5 inches tall, plant 4 bean seeds, evenly spaced, around each stalk.  About a week later, plant 6 squash or pumpkin seeds, evenly spaced around the perimeter of the mound.”

What’s great about planting this way is they all support each other as they grow.  According to the Farmer’s Almanac, “as the beans grow through the tangle of squash vines and wind their way up the cornstalks into the sunlight, they hold the sisters close together. The large leaves of the squash protect the threesome by creating living mulch that shades the soil, keeping it cool and moist and preventing weeds.”  I don’t know about you but I’m all for less weeding!

Give this ancient planting method a try and let me know how you did.


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