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The Three Sisters

It’s not Olga, Maria and Irina, or even the Kardashians, but the symbiotic partnership between corn, pole beans and squash. This companion-planting-infographic-724x1024works because the pole beans climb the tall corn stalks, while helping secure the stalk since corn’s roots are shallow. Squash leaves provide living mulch to the other two plants, helping them retain moisture. Beans deposit nitrogen into the soil, which is a requirement of both corn and squash; and the squash’s prickly leaves play another role – deterring animals from the beans and corn.

So how can you treble your rewards while reducing your work?

  • Choose which plants you’d like to plant in your garden.
  • Plant companion plants nearby

Just as certain plants give others a helping… leaf? There are some plants that have less than harmonious relationships.  For example:

Basil and Tomatoes are best pals- with Basil helping to enhance growth and  keep tomato worms away, it has a less friendly relationship with Cabbage, snap beans and sage – stunting their growth and lowering their yields.

Celery and Tomatoes are also great friends, but that fibrous stalk is a foe to melons, cucumbers and gourds.

Zucchini is a real team player, helping tomatoes, squash, beets, lettuce and everyone in the mint family tree- but take great care in inviting it to the potato party – they’ll rot each other!

For more great pairings, check out this helpful infographic from afristar