How to Grow

a Three Sisters Garden

at home

What Is a  Three Sisters Garden?

A Three Sisters garden follows planting corn, pole beans, and squash closely together to allow all three easy-to-grow vegetables to benefit from their proximity to another.

The Ultimate  Companion Plants

The beans climb the cornstalks and add nitrogen to the soil, while the squash vines create a living mulch. Their broad leaves shade the ground, suppressing weeds, repelling pests, and keeping the soil damp.


Pole beans can either be harvested young to eat their pods (such as familiar green beans) or allowed to ripen on the vine to produce shelling or soup beans.

Other Sister Plants

In addition to the Three Sisters, you may also want to sow other tall plants, like sunflower, Jerusalem artichoke, or amaranth, in the spaces between the hills.

Three Sisters Planting

Because you can never predict how many seeds will sprout, it usually is a good idea to plant twice as much as you need in your Three Sisters garden layout and thin out the extra plants.

More on

Get the Newsletter

Sign up to receive the best tips and tricks, the latest news and giveaways, and the most inspiring home improvement ideas from Bob Vila, America's Handyman since 1979.