Earlier this year, my friend sent me a link to a blog post about “tres hermanas” or three sisters – a traditional companion planting method for corn, beans and squash. The concept is that the corn and squash are nourished by the nitrogen fixing capabilities of the beans, the beans climb up the corn and the squash spreads and keeps the soil moist and the weeds out.
When I tried it, the beans germinated and grew much faster than the corn, so that the little vine arms were reaching into the air with nothing to grab on to. I bought some poles and built a bean tee-pee. Germination for the corn and squash was low, but the beans have been incredibly productive- a pound or two of beans a day.