Planting Corn

Mini Horses

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Three sisters is actually a way to save/use less space. The beans grow up the corn stalk and add nitrogen to soil, pumpkins, shade ground to stop weeds....so only plant a couple melon/pumpkin...a bean every other stalk. Of course you know this but, maybe think a smaller area won't work. IMO you just plant a little less in smaller area. :idunno still works. Add more compost. It should work fine. 100 stalks, 50 beans, 2 pumpkin vine. Good harvest there. ;)
 

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The downside of the sisters: Traditionally, the sisters were planted in the spring, and NOTHING was harvested till the end of the season. Corn and beans were harvested/dried for the winter, and the squash was also a late season crop that was stored for winter meals. Traditional American gardeners think of: fresh corn on the cob, and green beans, plus the winter squash or pumpkins, so they would be wading through the mess to harvest beans and corn frequently. Pole beans turn the whole thing into a knotted mess. With all of this in mind, I've done modified 3 sisters with limited success: Hills of corn, with bush beans planted in the corn hills, then... summer squash planted every 3 hills, or just at the corners, depending on the size of the patch. No matter how you do it, plan to have to go wading through the jumble to harvest. Cucumbers would be a nice alternative to the squash.

I prefer to plant potatoes with my corn. Both are heavy feeders. Both need hilling or heavy mulching. And, the potatoes don't compete in canopy space with the corn. My traditional planting is in rows, with a row of potatoes sandwiched between every 2 rows of corn, plants and rows are 1' apart, with 2' between each trio. So, a 12' wide bed would be: C - P - C - - C - P - C - - C -P - C. This spacing is tight, and if you had more room, you could certainly space it out a bit more. 3' between each set of C-P-C would be pretty ideal.
 
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baymule

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I planted Lima pole beans in my corn one time. ONCE. The corn was harvested, the Lima beans kept going. I was picking beans too. The cornstalks died, the Lima beans kept growing. Cornstalks fell over. I put in T-posts and ram string to try to pick up the mass of vines so I could pick them. What a mess.
 

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I planted Lima pole beans in my corn one time. ONCE. The corn was harvested, the Lima beans kept going. I was picking beans too. The cornstalks died, the Lima beans kept growing. Cornstalks fell over. I put in T-posts and ram string to try to pick up the mass of vines so I could pick them. What a mess.
Think of all that humus and nitrogen they added to your soil. Sometimes, I think it's a good idea to plant for sheer mass rather than ease of picking. It all depends on what your goal is. There was a guy who was the spokesperson for Troybilt, I'll look up his name later. He was big into block planting, and rotational crops. Any how, he would block plant bush beans and short peas. Grow them up to harvest all at once, then turn the whole mess in with his tiller. Great green manure crop, as well as providing a huge harvest of food for the table. He'd then block plant corn in those plots the following season.
 

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Dick Raymond was the Troybilt guy. There's a great book written by him : "Garden Way's Joy of Gardening". He was old school, regarding pesticide use. But, his land management strategies have some merit, especially for the gardener who DOES till their soil. Wide rows, beds, interplanting, early in-row cultivating to remove weed competetion at the thread stage, perpetual crop rotation to eliminate the need for outside sourced fertility, edible green manure crops. I enjoyed his writing style. He's one of those guys that would be on my "short list" to sit down and share a meal and good conversation with!
 

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Three sisters is actually a way to save/use less space. The beans grow up the corn stalk and add nitrogen to soil, pumpkins, shade ground to stop weeds....so only plant a couple melon/pumpkin...a bean every other stalk. Of course you know this but, maybe think a smaller area won't work. IMO you just plant a little less in smaller area. :idunno still works. Add more compost. It should work fine. 100 stalks, 50 beans, 2 pumpkin vine. Good harvest there. ;)
I like to plant acorn squash in my rows of corn. They seem to work well together.
 
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