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The Resilience Hub & Portland Maine Permaculture Message Board › 3 Sisters Garden Anyone?

3 Sisters Garden Anyone?

Gorham, ME
Post #: 29
Ok Since I seem to have jumped in from 50 feet up, here goes...

I thought I would try growing a little corn this year. Most of what I have read suggests trying a 3 Sisters method.....6-8' wide circles with corn in the center, then beans or peas around the corn, then squash and or cukes around those.

Several guides have also suggested Bee Plant (Cleome Serrulata) Unfortunately, I have seeds of Cleome Hassleriana instead. The two look similar, and so I wonder if, perhaps, the Cleome Hassleriana might be effective in my little corn, bean and squash guild?

Anyone tried this method?

Gorham, ME
Post #: 31
I just realized...why do I need to make each planting circle 6 feet in diameter? I should be able to sheet mulch 3 foot diameter circles, and just space them far enough apart to allow for a 6 foot circle. That will save me a lot of compost, manure, etc...Should make it much easier to create the circles too...less than 1/2 the materials I originally planned to use for these beds. Then, come fall, I can fill in between them for use as tomato beds next year.

Sensible plan?
David S.
Washington, ME
Post #: 93
If you make the circles smaller you plant less corn in the circle? That could result in serious pollinating problems. Corn needs to be planted kind of thick for good pollination.
Gorham, ME
Post #: 33
Well, what I have read so far is that you plant around 8 or so corn seeds in the center of each circle...the 12" wide raised portion in the middle. Then, about 6 inches further out you plant the beans or peas, then about 6-12 inches further out you plant the squash.

That makes each circle around 3-4 feet wide.

I was contemplating 6 foot wide circles, but the more I think about it, the less I think the actual amended area needs to be more than 3-4 feet in diameter.
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