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three sisters - Three Sisters Thursday - Page 7 Toplef10three sisters - Three Sisters Thursday - Page 7 1zd3ho10

Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

three sisters - Three Sisters Thursday - Page 7 I22gcj10three sisters - Three Sisters Thursday - Page 7 14dhcg10

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Three Sisters Thursday

+37
Chopper
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41 posters

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Post  Chopper 6/3/2014, 9:46 pm

One thing I did learn the hard way is that it is best to wait until the corn is several inches high before planting the beans or the corn will not be able to support it.
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Post  giant_trainer 6/3/2014, 9:49 pm

I can do that... thanks for the tip!
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Post  dayhut 6/3/2014, 10:44 pm

giant_trainer wrote:Dayhut and Kay....

I think I will.  I'll be looking for the seed tomorrow!

Thanks!
Nothing could be simpler.
I did mine in about 30 minutes.

To be fair, I had prepped the soil several weeks ago. 
I layed humus, cardboard and soil on the plot and watered in the interim. This sweetens the soil. Then I perforated the cardboard with my Garden Claw.
Finally, I went to mounding my growing mix on top.

Planting was simple, too. Since I chose a bush bean, I sowed all the seed at once - instead of staggering the planting as is the case when using pole beans. I also know some people sow soft/summer/bush squash, like zucchini or crookneck. The aim is for the squash to shade the plot to discourage weeds and offer it's prickly stems as defense against pests. Flexibility is allowed.  Laughing 

Again, pretty quick and simple. Hopefully this will encourage you!
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Post  Turan 4/14/2017, 12:35 pm

Reading back through this thread brings such good memories.  I am tempted to do it again. 
My plan this year is to grow a full bed of Hooker's Indian sweer corn and a berm next to it of winter squash.  I have a problem with beans growing but getting frosted just as they come into full production, so I have been growing them in the greenhouse.  So maybe for the sake of fun I should plant some Hidatsa Sheild Figure beans among the corn.  It being a native near here it might do well.   

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Post  sanderson 4/14/2017, 10:56 pm

Pretty beans. Makes sense to grow regional corn.

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Post  mlpii66 4/28/2017, 9:45 am

I'm going to try early sweetcorn, bush beans and summer squash.  I've planted cool season fava beans and may work those into the 3 sisters rotation if they work out.

Turan,

Have you tried pumpkins?  I have a couple of "field" pumpkins started indoors.  Not sure how they'll work in such a cool climate.  The plan is to hoop house them a couple of weeks before the average last frost, (average last frost still FOUR weeks away  three sisters - Three Sisters Thursday - Page 7 671790 ) but that may not be enough time. We had a good September last year but I'm finding the mountains scoff at norms and averages.

Looking around online for local corn and seeds like you mentioned in an earlier post. Haven't found a strong local gardening club or seed exchange, may have to start one!

Weather is still very unsettled here and making me more motivated to get a greenhouse or two up!
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Post  Turan 4/28/2017, 10:13 am

mlpii66
Yes I have grown various pumpkins.  I start them indoors, but usually not for a couple weeks yet, and plant them out protected with wall-o-waters on my last frost date (June 7).  Hoops, warm lee side of a wall, anything to protect from hail and be a hold heat, helps.  There used to be a family here, Fishers, that had a seed business with their own selections but they are retired and no longer in business.  I know some of the varieties they had have been bought by bigger companies (Glacier and Praire Fire tomato was their development).  My stalwart producer here is Fisher's Mountaineer winter squash.  I also plant Australian Butter pumpkin, last year was a bumper crop of those. Fishers Buttercup, if the summer is kind I get some.  Johnys and Irish eyes and Territorial are my go to for seeds now.  I still intend some day to search out a lot of native for this area squash seeds and create a landrace winter squash for my area.  Any year now.

One year I grew squash in a bucket because I ran out of room.  It did not do well.  But I have seen others here do that successfully because squash are so hard to fit in a sq ft.  I plant it in a berm with lots of partially done compost.  Squash loves a compost pile and we might as well use that to our advantage.

Good luck.

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Post  SwampTroll 5/19/2017, 8:15 pm

Okay, I'm curious, what's the smallest footprint anyone's been able to successfully do the Three Sisters in?

I've dedicated a 2x2 section within my larger garden for my test this year.  I'm just wondering if this is a foolish concept from the get go, or if there is a chance that it may actually work out.
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Post  Scorpio Rising 5/19/2017, 9:09 pm

SwampTroll wrote: carrot Okay, I'm curious, what's the smallest footprint anyone's been able to successfully do the Three Sisters in?

I've dedicated a 2x2 section within my larger garden for my test this year.  I'm just wondering if this is a foolish concept from the get go, or if there is a chance that it may actually work out.
No! That is what ya call an experiment!  Keep us all posted!
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Post  Jackiesoap 4/19/2024, 9:45 pm

Wondering why you start the beans so early (4 inches). I have read the Native Indians planted the beans when the corn was knee high.
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Post  sanderson 4/20/2024, 5:25 pm

Jackie, not everyone understands the 3 sister's concept. The corn needs to up and strong enough for the bean vines.

Just thinking out loud, that maybe early bean vines were shorter than, say, our modern Blue Lake pole beans. Early corn wasn't real tall either. The beans and corn were dried for winter storage. Not that they didn't eat some fresh but the whole concept was calories and starch for survival. Some tribes cut up and dried some of the squash. I saw an old photo of cut up squash drying on wood frames.

I just went down a rabbit hole and read about the subject. Yes, their pole beans weren't tall-tall like some of our more modern cultivars. Ditto on their corn. And, it looks like both summer and winter squash were grown. They spent a lot of time and energy on food security.

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