Thursday, April 1, 2010
Gardening with Three Sisters
My dad the other day was talking to me about how his grandfather had made his "succotash" garden. He said he used a technique that had been taught to him by Native Americans. I listened to him explain how they'd go fishing and use fish heads as fertilizer, and then use a companion gardening technique for three veggies. These veggies were corn, green beans, and squash. My dad said to plant all three together in the same hole on top of the fish head, and let nature do the rest.
He said, the corn will grow up tall, the beans will use it as a pole, and the squash will prevent weeds and other pests. I had to do some research on my own, and what I found was surprising. He had repeated the precise technique used by Native Americans, called the Three Sisters Garden.
So why is it called three sisters?
According to Garden Web the first sister is corn. She stands the tallest. The next sister is squash, she grows over her other sisters, protecting them from the sun, weeds, and keeping the soil moist. The youngest sister is beans, and she connects her two older sisters together by climbing through the squash, and then climbing up the corn. She also helps add nitrogen to the soil, fertilizing it for the other two.
This technique really appeals to me, so I'm definitely giving it a go this year. I'll be sure to give you guys updates. It's still a little early to plant my three sister's garden, but I"ll be sure to post when I do. For more info on the three sister's seeds check out Chiot's Run who happens to be a much better photographer then I could be any day.