The size of your garden space will determine how you arrange these plants. If
you have a small yard, you might only
plant two or three squash plants and four
to twelve corn and bean plants. If you
have a large yard, you will be able to plant
eight to twelve squash plants and thirty-two to fifty-four corn and bean plants.
Some things to consider when planting squash are that squash plants need
to be planted on a mound that is about
two to two and a half feet in diameter
and mounded twelve to eighteen inches
above the ground, and there needs to be
at least four feet between each mound.
The corn and bean plants are planted together between the squash mounds.
In a large yard, there would be one
Prepare and Plant
mound containing four squash plants in
the center of a triangle of corn/bean plants
that are at the outskirts of the mound. In a
smaller yard, the corn/bean plants wouldn’t
form a triangle, they would be in line with
the squash mound (which, in a smaller
yard would hold two or three plants), with
a corn/bean grouping being two feet away
on either side (see diagrams).
Once you have decided how many plants
you want to grow and how they should be
arranged, you can prepare the soil. Dig a
hole or ditch under the areas where you
will be sowing seeds and drop in some
vegetable compost, covering it over again
with soil before you drop in your seeds.
Plant the corn and squash first. The
corn should be planted at the points of
one square foot centered over a spot that
is two feet away from the squash hill,
according to your row or triangle arrangement. Once the corn is eight inches
tall, plant your beans between the corn
plants. All that’s left to do is watch the
As the squash spreads over the ground,
it serves as a reminder of how Jesus de-
feated death and spreads his wings over
us, protecting us from the evil one. As
the beans nourish the ground and wrap
themselves around the tall, strong corn-
stalks, reaching for the light, they show
us how the Holy Spirit gently helps us
grow in faith as we seek the Father.
A Three Sisters garden can teach us
not just about gardening, but about our
own dependence on God and each other.
Julie has been homeschooling her four children for thirteen years and just graduated
her oldest. She is the author of Finding Joy:
A Christian’s Journey to an Unschooled
Life, which is available in most online bookstores. She teaches high school botany on
SchoolhouseTeachers.com and her second
book, The Purpose of Plants, is available
in the Schoolhouse Store and on lulu.com.
1.Th e National Gardening Association http://
2. The Old Farmer’s Almanac http://www.almanac
Large Yard Small Yard Corn and
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