The Three Sisters and Companion Gardening

Native Americans relied on three principal staples for survival; corn, beans and squash. These crops were so important to the Indians that they were often called "The Three Sisters," and they perfectly illustrate the concept of companion plants.

All three sisters work together and support each other to their mutual benefit. The tall, sturdy corn stalks provides a frame for the beans to climb up, the beans fix nitrogen and enrich the soil, and the squash leaves provide a natural mulch for all three. In this way, The Three Sisters thrive together more than any one could on her own. You can apply this same ancient technique in your own garden. Use companion planting to intensify the flavor of vegetables, enrich the soil, attract beneficial insects and repel pests. Here's a list of different vegetables that are compatible with one another. Companion planting is more art than science, so try out some combinations and see what works in your garden!

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