vegetables  green beans, corn, zucchini, squash on old wooden background in rustic style

Three Sisters: Corn, Beans and Squash

A longstanding tradition among Native American tribes, the Three Sisters offers a bountiful crop by planting corn, beans and squash. For centuries the interplanting of these crops provided nourishment for the native tribes while giving back to the earth. It’s said that the three crops represented inseparable sisters who can grow and thrive together.

  • Corn provides support for the beans.
  • Beans fixes nitrogen in the soil, benefiting the corn and squash.
  • Squash covers the ground and serves as mulch protecting the roots of all the plants.

Knowing the history and importance of this tradition encourages a connection to the land while learning how to make the most of your summer garden.

How to Plant Three Sisters:

  • Plant in late spring early summer after the last of frost.
  • Mound up soil 2 feet around and about 6 inches high
  • Plant corn first in the center (see diagram)
  • When corn is 6-12 inches high (about two weeks later) plant beans and squash as shown in the diagram

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