Three sister garden beds for pumpkin, tomatoes, cucumbers and watermelons.
It’s nearly Summer.
On the rainiest day this month so far, I spent time in the greenhouse with my little 'Mr Seven' apprentice nursery helper, planting out zucchini’s, cucumber's, tromboncino's, lettuces, watermelon, beetroot and a rainbow of radishes. I recognised that it’s also time to decide what is going where in the Summer garden, and which plants should go together and which ones should certainly keep their distance from one another.
There is a myriad of information out there regarding companion planting, and unless you have some printed charts at hand to take into the garden when you are planning the beds, it can get confusing to figure out which plants would benefit one another in the Summer patch.
Why Companion plant?
Just like us humans, plants are social butterflies, and can benefit from being planted with other plants that compliment each other’s needs. Companion planting creates diversity in the garden. By increasing diversity, the plants can attract beneficial insects that help to attack pests and diseases in the garden. Planting this way promotes symbiosis in the garden. Plants growing harmoniously together all summer long is my ultimate daydream!
The "Three Sisters" bed garden plans.
The original ‘Three Sisters Bed’ originated when American colonists noticed how Native American Indians grew their vegetables in a grouping of three. The three vegetables were corn, beans and squashes. This method is now as popular as ever because 'the internet' and it is widely known that this is an effective method to use. It can save space in small gardens, by inter-planting in these layers, of ground growers, tall stake-like vegetables and herbs or legumes. We can learn so much from ancient farmers like these.
Here’s my 'Three Sisters' combinations...
So having trialled The Three Sisters Bed over the last 2 years in my modest sized garden, I can say we had no problems whatsoever. Therefore, I have a number of beds that I will now use in that method, I have made my plans by listening mostly to other gardeners about what grows well together in our neck of the woods here in Australia.
My picks for this year are:
- Corn, Pumpkin, Beans - Traditional
- Beetroot, Basil and Tomatoes - inspired by Self Sufficient Me ‘s amazing Tomato patch!
- Dill, Cucumber and Carrot +Radishes combo - my own creation
- Sunflowers, Watermelons and Peas - I am adding the peas this year, after the sunflowers and watermelon went so well last year together along my fence. The peas can climb up the sunflowers, if they want to. .
Summarising the Summer patch
It feels nice when everything is planted and getting along in the garden. Also, it is satisfying that all the space I have for growing vegetables is being used and its wonderful to see all the bees and butterflies enjoying the beds too.
It looks aesthetically pleasing, not messy, until things start dying off at the end of Summer, while also being a great conversation starter when visitors arrive. The other benefit is, that I won't need to keep plans and lists of companion plants. If these work well together, I can plant this way year after year. Of course, Ill let you know how it works out after Summer!
Stay tuned in on my Instagram to see how the garden progresses. Happy Planting!