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Three Sisters Planting

 
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TiminIndiana
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Joined: 19 Dec 2009
Posts: 34

Real Name: Tim Wieneke

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 3:46 am    Post subject: Three Sisters Planting Reply with quote

Anyone here use the three sisters planting method? I first ran across this in Backwoodsman a while back. Just wondering what results you might have gotten vs. other methods of planting.

Tim

http://www.threesistersplanting.info/
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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:28 am    Post subject: Re: Three Sisters Planting Reply with quote

Yes sir, that's the only way I've ever planted corn, hilled up with beans and squash, pumpkins, or gourds. About the only problems that I've seen is that it's fairly labor intensive hilling the patch up, and until the squash begin to mature and put on the bigger leaves it's a little difficult to keep the patch clear of weeds. After they do though you never have to weed. But I think this year I'm going to try planting my corn in rows instead of hills to see if it's any easier to keep clear.

But overall I think the Three Sisters method works real well if you don't over plant the beans and squash. A word of warning, they'll bury the corn if you do, reach right up and pull it down and bury it.
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Isaac
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Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 289
Location: Ouisconsing, Pays d'en Haut
Real Name: Isaac Walters

PostPosted: Wed Jan 20, 2010 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have as well for a number of years. The last couple years I have been looking at arch. remnants of mounded fields and have been rethinking how I plant and mound. Last year I made long "rowed" mounds and planted in more of a row (sorta) with things inbetween. I am trying to figure more out and experiment more with this. Some of these fields and gardens had some interesting arrangments of mounds. For example, look at pages 79-81 here... http://books.google.com/books?id=S-DE5oX-cqgC&printsec=frontcover&dq=susan+sleeper-smith&ei=SmBXS8WHJpXKMriT9P0M&cd=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false

Isaac

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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Sat Jan 30, 2010 10:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link Issac, but I tried it and could only anvigate to page 38. Might have to get off the wallet and buy the book.

Here are a couple of pics of my 3 sisters garden right after hilling up last Spring.....


Kind of hard to make out, but directly beyond the new enclosed strawberry patch in the foreground is my corn patch.



I've always hilled up my beds before planting, all hills covered and aligned in a grid 30" +/- between hills. I've then gone through and planted corn at the 4 cardinal points near the base of each hill, then after it was up and at about 2"-3" gone through and every 5th hill in the grid planted my squash. After the squash was up and standing 2"-3" I've gone through and planted beans in every other hill in the grid, 1 bean between each corn stalk, later to be thinned to 2 plants per hill. (Or that's always been the plan anyway. I always have had a hard time thinning out healthy beans, and on more than one occasion have paid for not doing it properly.)

Recently I've read where the hills were mounded up around the corn after it had sprouted and was maybe 4"-6" tall, then the squash was planted, then the beans as noted above. That makes a lot of sense, given the extra support that this would allow the corn. I've had high winds blow my corn down on more than one occasion due to shallow roots and I think hilling up around the roots would compensate for their natural lack of depth. The next time I plant in hills that's probably the way I'll do it.
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Isaac
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Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 289
Location: Ouisconsing, Pays d'en Haut
Real Name: Isaac Walters

PostPosted: Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wind... yah. I have had the wind prob in the past as well... it sucks (err blows). I have started a small mound to plant in and then mound more later as the corn gets bigger. I also have been doing rowed (linear) mounds. I will see if I can scan the images from the above book. I suggest picking it up for a read at a later date if you get a chance. A lot of good stuff in it.

Isaac

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Aldo Leopold
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Jim Jacobs
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Real Name: Anonymous

PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 1:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's some great information from ATTRA on companion planting, with a great appendix on 3 sisters gardening.....

Abstract;
Companion planting is based on the idea that certain plants can benefit others when planted in near proximity. The scientific and traditional bases for these plant associations are discussed. A companion planting chart for common herbs, vegetables, and flowers is provided, as is a listing of literature resources for traditional companion planting. An appendix provides history, plant varieties, and planting designs for the Three Sisters, a traditional Native American companion planting practice.

http://attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/complant.html



More material designed for teaching kids;

Prepared for teaching at the fourth grade level;
http://blogs.cornell.edu/garden/files/2009/04/three-sisters-exploring-an-iroquois-garden-1.pdf

Prepared for 4H;
http://counties.cce.cornell.edu/Wyoming/gardening/resources/projects/threesistergarden.html
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Isaac
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Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 289
Location: Ouisconsing, Pays d'en Haut
Real Name: Isaac Walters

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jim Jacobs wrote:
Thanks for the link Issac, but I tried it and could only anvigate to page 38. Might have to get off the wallet and buy the book.
.


The original article by Bela Hubbard on those mounded gardens is digitized on Google books (just found it!!!!!). You can see it here http://books.google.com/books?id=gBniAAAAMAAJ&pg=PA21&lpg=PA21&dq=%22Bela+Hubbard%22+Ancient+Garden+Beds&source=bl&ots=lpfT4KgNv8&sig=1Aq1lDSXP473dxtwG9ay2lL6UEw&hl=en&ei=AkqyS7nCJpCKNqjhteID&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=4&ved=0CBAQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=%22Bela%20Hubbard%22%20Ancient%20Garden%20Beds&f=false

Isaac

_________________
We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations, the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.
Aldo Leopold
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Isaac
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Joined: 21 May 2007
Posts: 289
Location: Ouisconsing, Pays d'en Haut
Real Name: Isaac Walters

PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A quick addition... the Sleeper-Smith book is still WAY worth the read... especially for those in Indiana and Michigan (as well as other western Great Lakes states).

Isaac

_________________
We shall never achieve harmony with land, any more than we shall achieve absolute justice or liberty for people. In these higher aspirations, the important thing is not to achieve but to strive.
Aldo Leopold
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