The Three Sisters companion planting method for growing maize (corn), beans, and squash was developed and used by Native Americans over a thousand years ago as a beneficial way to grow their three main agricultural crops together. They used variations on the approach throughout North America, with regional variations used to adapt to local growing conditions.
A benefit of this approach, besides efficient use of growing space, is that the squash provides a living mulch that covers the ground and helps to control weeds and conserve moisture. The corn provides a trellis for the beans, and the beans provide nutrients by fixing nitrogen in the soil. An additional benefit of the squash is that it may help deter raccoons, as they reportedly don’t like the prickliness of the squash vines scratching their sensitive feet and legs.
I’ve been growing garlic in zone 6b, Northern Ohio for about 15 years, give or take a few. I currently grow a few porcelain and purple stripe hardneck garlic varieties. Some were sourced from online seed / garlic companies and growers at local farm markets, others were “found” varieties.
My current “sourced” garlics are Kyjev and Music. I tried a few others (Transylvanian, Inchillium, Chesnov, to name a few), but settled on Kyjev and Music because I like the size of the Music garlics and the flavor and bite of the Kyjev.
One of the lines of garlic I grow is from plants that had naturalized in a neighbor’s yard from garlic his great (great-great?) grandfather had brought over from Romania/Transylvania area in Europe. I call this line “Coyote Red”.
Gardening, Permaculture, Vegetable Garden
My dream has long been to have a huge vegetable garden and a yard with fruit trees and edible landscaping. With our new house (built in 2016), that dream is coming true.