Today opened from 09:00 until 17:30

Your independent Plant Centre
for all the Family

  • We make our own award-winning pies and sausages in our Farm Shop

  • Enjoy tea, coffee and a variety of home-made treats on our Sunny Café Terrace

  • Beautiful plants, flowering shrubs and hanging baskets from our Plant Centre

  • We have a huge range of Garden Furniture

    Plant a classic American Indian combination of squash, beans and corn

    Plant a classic American Indian combination of squash, beans and corn

    Plant a classic American Indian combination of squash, beans and corn and reap the rewards of one of the oldest recorded companion planting techniques in higher yields and less work.

    The Three Sisters has been used for centuries by the Iroquois, who grew their staple foods of corn, beans and squash mixed up in the same bed.

    Tall sweetcorn supports climbing beans, while large-leafed squash scrambles around the feet of the other two ‘sisters’, keeping weeds down and shading the soil. In return, the beans fix nitrogen from the air, benefiting both squash and corn.

    The technique is easy to adapt for a British climate as long as you don’t sow all at once. Start corn and squash under cover this month, and plant them out as seedlings next month spaced around 30cm apart in blocks.

    Once the corn is around 10cm tall, sow bean seeds, direct, at their feet. Less vigorous varieties, like 'Blauhilde', are easier to manage. As the corn and beans grow, train the beans up the corn stalks and pinch out sideshoots to keep them under control so you can still access your harvest. The squash, meanwhile, should spread out happily underneath, giving you the satisfaction of enjoying three crops from a single veg bed.