I have planted a three sisters garden which is a form of companion planting – see here. A month or so ago a friend from bee club mentioned planting beans, corn and squash together as Mesoamerican societies used to do as they all work well together and provide nutrients, support, weed suppression and shade for each other. Last year I planted the squash and corn together and thought I would add in the beans this year.
There are lots of resources on how to do this properly on the internet, but I just made it up as I was in a rush – I don’t have much time for gardening. I will do some more research over the winter and plan the garden more effectively next year as I don’t think I got the spacing right. In fact I think you are meant to plant them around each other in mounds and not just randomly shove them in the earth!
I planted a mix of different types of squash and courgette including butternut, delecta, red onion, and rarity squash, and yellow and green courgettes.
This area of the garden got very over-grown with weeds over the past couple of years, so last year I started to cover it in weedblock and plastic – it has worked well and I now have a useable space. I am cutting holes in the plastic to insert the plants. I have also added extra fertiliser by way of alpaca poo!
The beans are meant to climb up the corn, but I have given them extra support, the beans also fix nitrogen in the soil; the squash act as a mulch and suppress the weeds, protect the corn and beans from getting eaten and help retain water; the corn/beans provide shade for the squash. I have mainly planted borlotti beans.
Of course I also have current bushes in my three sisters garden. These were gifts from Christine and Nathan’s allotment and are awaiting transplantation to the new fruit cage – more on that soon.