The Iroquois called them the 3 sisters; corn, beans and squash. The corn provided something for the beans to climb, the beans provided nitrogen for the corn and the squash spread between the rows providing ground cover and weed control.
The 3 Sisters – Companion Gardening
Companion gardening isn’t new, and if you want to save space, it’s one of the best ways to go. Certain plants grow well together, while other plants simply benefit each other like the case of the 3 sisters.
For years I would plant a “salad garden” in the early spring. The lettuce, spinach, green onions and radishes all grew so well together that it just made sense.
Since having kids I’ve not managed to plant a salad garden for the past several years, but I’m sure things will eventually slow down and I will plant on again. My best tip for a salad garden is well drained soil. Since that’s difficult in the spring, I would suggest planting in a raised bed if you have that option.
Beans, cucumbers and radishes, are another little family that grows well together. Since we plant a lot of beans, and just a few cucumbers, the diagram below is perfect for what we need.
If you want more cucumbers feel free to add in a few more plants, they will do great! Radishes are the perfect example of a benefitting plant. You won’t eat these, but rather leave them as pest control.
The last little family I want to mention here is tomatoes, carrots and onions.
I’m all about saving space in our little garden and growing carrots and onions around the outsides of the tomatoes is a great way to save space and grow our food just a little better.
I’ve just brushed the basics of companion gardening in this post. I’ve written a much more in-depth post at Don’t Waste the Crumbs and shared even more plants that grow well together over there. Why don’t you go check it out!