Saturday, February 28, 2015

COMPANION PLANTING AND MY THREE SISTERS GARDEN.

Companion planting folks. That's what I care about this week. When the thought crosses my mind I see images of Native Americans planting crops to accompany and help one another to ensure a bountiful harvest. You'll understand then why I chose to plant a Three Sisters Garden this year. It combines companion planting with mulching, two of my favorite things... It helps to cut down on weeding or fertilizing with our already busy busy busy farm and parenting life...

mean yeesh we're only butchering every meat animal on the homestead this month, working out the kinks in our recently set up irrigation system, and dont even get me started on the weeding that continues to go unfinished in the garden. Let me just air my dirty laundry for a minute...



See the devastation in these before shots... All weeds.. we aren't perfect.. Homesteads take work and sometimes we get behind in weeding the garden. Such is farm life.. Hence new obsession with mulching.. Mulch it all!

Mulched!

I've been continually mulching my butt off trying to weed and cover every inch of soil in the garden. To my surprise things are going very well and my crops have begun to grow like crazy! In an effort to find what works best I've been researching companion planting.... Basically so I can plant one bed full before I move on to weed, clean, and plant the next.... A little haphazard I know... But companion planting makes everyone happy, especially the plants :)

Mulched!

The Three Sisters Garden consists of corn, beans, and squash. First planted is the corn, in the sunniest warmest spot (plant in several short rows or circles for pollination purposes). Wait until the shoots are about 5 inches tall then plant 1-2 beans at the base of each stalk. 

Mulched!

Wait about 2-3 weeks, until beans are established and beginning to climb. Plant your squash at the center point of your circles or in from of your rows. Heres the just of it... the corn grows as the foundation, the beans then climb the corn giving itore stability, and these together provide protection and shade for the squash to grow and flourish. The corn sucks out nitrogen which the beans replace and the squash provides a form of mulch to cover and protect the soil.  

These companions keep each other warm and water can flow with ease to all the different varieties. Here's an affiliate link that shows numerous planting patterns and designs. 

See those beans!!! They're making their emergence. 


And here! See those squash in the background! Oh yeah baby, I see veggies in my future. 



In the high desert where we live companion planting is fantastic! Vital nutrients can be supplied by one plant and absorbed by another. It also works great for container or urban gardening where there's not much space. 
 

Here they are... This was July 5th and over hip high corn!!! Safe to safe we will have a fruitful three sisters harvest. 

Follow this link to find more interesting TSG patterns!


What are you favorite companion planting techniques? Comments welcome below

Cheers folks!