How to Plant a Three Sisters Garden  (Visual Layouts Included)

The Three Sisters is an ancient companion planting method that originated with Native American tribes, who planted corn, beans, and squash together for mutual benefit.

This method is still as relevant today as it was in the past, and my guide will show you how to plant a Three Sisters garden (with sample plans for garden layouts).

The Three Sisters method entails the following companion plants working together:


This should be a tall variety to give the beans plenty of room to climb (and to make sure the beans don’t overcrowd the corn). Some early varieties are shorter plants that mature quickly, so they won’t work for a Three Sisters garden.


Beans should be a climbing type (also called pole beans) and not bush types, which stay compact and don’t need support. Lima, runner, yardlong, and common beans work best, as you want non-vigorous climbers and bushy pole types that won’t take over the corn.


Squash can be summer or winter types, or a combination of both. But pay attention to what you plant: Some summer squashes, like zucchini, are bush types that stay relatively small and upright.

Planting the Three Sisters in the order of 1) corn, 2) beans, and 3) squash will ensure they grow and mature together (and not grow at the expense of another sister crop).

There are many different ways to plant a Three Sisters garden, whether you have sandy soil or hard clay, have a lot of land or are restricted to a raised bed. That said, the main consideration will be the amount of space you have.

Swipe up to read the full post!