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three sister's method in SFG?

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three sister's method in SFG?

Post  Feistywidget on 11/18/2011, 4:10 pm

Was wondering if it's possible to use this method in SFG. Please don't just give me a link about this (either on the thread or from elsewhere on the internet).

The only thing I've found about using the three sister's method, is how to do it in a traditional row format garden; nothing about how to use it in container gardening and/or in SFG.

I found something that says according to Mel, though the original spacing was 1 corn plant per SFG square, he found out you could do 4 per SFG square later. Unfortunately this was never corrected in the newer edition of his book. This modification to how much corn to plant per SFG square was straight from Mel.

I bring this up because if I were to incorporate the three sister's method in the SFG squares, would I have to reduce the amount of corn I plant per square?

Also I had a question about how to do spacing of corn in the SFG squares.

In order to ensure pollination, it's recommended that you do several short rows in a 'block style' as opposed to one long row. I was wondering how you would go about doing this per square in an SFG box.

This question is being asked whether I just do corn alone in each square OR whether I use the three sister's method in the SFG squares. I'd like to know how you'd do this, regardless of which method you use.

Though I am curious about one thing. If you use the three sister's garden method in the SFG, would you still have to plant the corn in blocks and several long rows?

Also if you use three sister's gardening method for SFG, would it really be necessary to do vertical gardening?

The one last thing I have a question about is I know the three sister's method originally uses corn, squash, and beans. Since melons have a very similar growth habit to squash, could I use melon plants in three sister's method?

Also, with the three sister's method, does it have to be a vine variety of melons/squash or can it be a bush variety, or would a bush variety not work?

Can any type of bean be used, and does it have to be a pole bean or would a bush bean work, or would it not be possible to use bush bean in three sister's method?

Feistywidget

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Location : Boyne City Michigan (gardening zone 5; short growing season....mild and cool climate...hot summers, but much milder than summers in tropical gardening zones)

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Re: three sister's method in SFG?

Post  Chopper on 11/20/2011, 3:58 am

Pole beans would be best. Bush beans would get lost in the height of the corn.

Since you are planting 4 corn stalks in each square you have your block built into every square.

I have done this and did not plant less corn. One thing I learned, though is to plant the beans a little later than the corn to insure the stalks are big enough to climb.

Lots of people here have done three sisters and if you care to look it up you will find a lot of info and experience.

Chopper

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Re: three sister's method in SFG?

Post  donnainzone5 on 11/20/2011, 2:26 pm

I had fairly good luck with my Three Sisters bed this summer. Next year, however, I'll use only purple and yellow pole beans, since the green ones are hard to see. I do plant four corn seeds per square and probably would have a decent harvest if I had more sunlight! Nevertheless, I had several small ears, enough for a couple of meals.

I don't know for certain, but I suspecft that melons would thrive with the Three Sisters method.
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