LeeBooker
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Help! Planting Tommorow!

We are planting a garden in the morning. The beds are tilled and everything is set to go, but we are having a disagreement on the proper way to plant a garden using companion planting and getting the maximum yield. Is it better to plant sections (eg.rows or squares) or plant alternating vegetables? I will try to diagram it below. Which way would work better and why?

PLAN 1 B=BEANS, C=CORN S=SQUASH
------------------------------------------------------------------------
B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B
C B C B S B C B C B C B C B S B C B C B C B S B C B C B C
B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B
------------------------------------------------------------------------
OR
PLAN 2 B=BEANS C=CORN S=SQUASH
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
B B B B B B B C C C C C C C C C C C C S S S S S S S S S S S
B B B B B B B C C C C C C C C C C C C S S S S S S S S S S
B B B B B B B B C C C C C C C C C C C C S S S S S S S S S S
--------------------------------------------------------------------------

With plan 1, will there be a problem with cross pollinating, watering, root depth, sunligh, growth timing?

The general idea with plan 1 is the beans will run up the corn, and the squash will spread out underneath. Plan 2 is just how I have always seen it done. Any information on these ideas would be greatly appreciated! We are at a stand still until we figure this out.

The beds are 3 ft wide. Now these plans are just general ideas, I know the sqaush will spread out so they will have to be spaced more, but hopefully you get my drift.

Thanks in advance!

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applestar
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The directions for 3 Sisters that I have is something like this:
(I had to use . in place of space)

..........B.B....................................B.B...................................B.B.
.....B...C.C...B............S............B...C.C...B............S............B...C.C...B
..B...C...C..C...B....................B...C...C..C...B....................B...C...C..C...B
..B...C...C..C...B....................B...C...C..C...B....................B...C...C..C...B
.....B...C.C...B............S............B...C.C...B............S............B...C.C...B..
..........B.B....................................B.B....................................B.B.
..........B.B....................................B.B....................................B.B.
.....B...C.C...B............S............B...C.C...B............S............B...C.C...B
..B...C...C..C...B....................B...C...C..C...B....................B...C...C..C...B
..B...C...C..C...B....................B...C...C..C...B....................B...C...C..C...B
.....B...C.C...B............S............B...C.C...B............S............B...C.C...B..
..........B.B....................................B.B....................................B.B.
..........B.B....................................B.B....................................B.B.
.....B...C.C...B............S............B...C.C...B............S............B...C.C...B
..B...C...C..C...B....................B...C...C..C...B....................B...C...C..C...B
..B...C...C..C...B....................B...C...C..C...B....................B...C...C..C...B
.....B...C.C...B............S............B...C.C...B............S............B...C.C...B..
..........B.B....................................B.B....................................B.B

TZ -OH6
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Are the beans a variety adapted to low light conditions growing in corn? Most modern varieties are not and do better with full sun. Is the corn a variety tall enough for pole beans? Most sweet corn is not. The Plains Indians whose diet was mostly corn, beans and squash grew the squash out in the open in sections of the fields separated from the corn and beans (which grew together) so that the squash could get more sun. In a residential garden that would be south of/ in front of the taller corn and pole beans.

LeeBooker
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thnks

They are bush beans and black corn. I guess a better question would be, can vegetables in general be planted in a ABCABCABC pattern or would it be better to go with AAAABBBBCCCC.

Hope this make sense...

We have about four beds and I think we may be misunderstanding "companion" planting.

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applestar
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Oooh.... Well, squash would overwhelm bush beans and corn would completely overshadow bush beans. So even though some vegetables can be intermixed, I don't think this combination is one of them.

I would put the bush beans in the front (South side) of the corn, and plant separate blocks of squash to keep the Squash Vine borers guessing and hopefully end up with some that escape notice. (SSS's indicate squash block, not number of plants)

So...

SSSSSSS...CCCCCCCCCCCC...SSSSSSS...CCCCCCCCCCCC...SSSSSSS
SSSSSSS...CCCCCCCCCCCC...SSSSSSS...CCCCCCCCCCCC...SSSSSSS
SSSSSSS...BBBBBBBBBBBB...SSSSSSS...BBBBBBBBBBBB...SSSSSSS

LeeBooker
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ahhh

thank you for your input...

so the ABCABCABC method probably wont work with other vegetables as well, unless they are of similar height and width I gather...

am i correct in this?

So say we planted pole beans versus bush beans?

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applestar
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One example I've seen for that particular configuration is broccoli, lettuce, and radish. The idea is that as they mature, radish will be harvested first, then lettuce, so that the broccoli inherits the entire area.

You can similarly fill widely spaced area between squash plants with bush beans, for example so that the faster maturing bush beans will fill the area at first, then as the vines start to take off and need the room, the beans would be harvested and be done.

I would cut the bean plants off at the ground level and then lay them down on the ground as mulch to break down. This helps to release the nitrogen in the root nodules as well as in the foliage back into the soil.

LeeBooker
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allrighty

Here's exactly what we are planting. Please correct anything you see wrong.

#1
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C
T T T T T T T T T T T T
C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (C=CUCUMBERS) (B=BUSH BEANS) (T=TOMATO)

#2
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T
B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C
T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(C=CABBAGE) (T=TOMATO) (B=LIMA BEANS)

#3
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B
C C C C C C C C C C sq C C C C C C C C C sq C C C C C C C C C C C
B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(B=LIMA BEANS) (C=BLACK CORN) (sq=SQUASH)

#4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P
C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C
P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(P= PINK EYE PURPLE HULL PEAS) (C-CUCUMBERS)

#5
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B T T B T T B B T T B T T B B T T B T T B B T T B T T B B T T B T T B
S B T T B T T S B T T B T T S B T T B T T S B T T B T T S B T T B T T S
B T T B T T B B T T B T T B B T T B T T B B T T B T T B B T T B T T B
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(B=RED BEANS) (T=TURNIPS) (S=SWEET PEPPERS)


* FOR SOME REASON IT REFORMATED #1, THE T's are spread out evenly...

Susan W
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If you are doing 3 sisters, native type, need a real plan of timing. Correct me if I am wrong here folks, but think corn needs up so high before others planted, and all is in mounds.

If not doing that, would have blocks of varieties. Corn is one that needs a block (as in 4 short rows rather than one long row).

Squash, cucumber and melon types spread, and spread, and then some more.
Have fun!
Susan

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Gary350
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You need to consider crop row orientation. North South rows get more sun light than East West rows so the crop yield is much better. Do a web search for, crop row orientation and read all about it. A lot of research has gone into this. As I recall N/S crop row orientation gives about 20% better crop yield than E/W crop row orientation. For a 100 acre field of corn 20% is a big deal.

Corn does not do well in a small crop. The best way to get a good crop of corn when planting a small crop is croud the plants in a very close space. Make the rows 24 inches apart and plant the seeds 6" apart in each row. Typically the wind blows from West to East across the United States but it also depends on your geographical location. Check the wind where you live and design your corn crop so the wind gives you maximum pollenation. If you corn crop for example is 4 ft wide by 8 ft long plant it so the wind blows through the corn length wise.

If you plant different kinds of beans and different kinds of pepper they can cross pollenated each other. Most of the pollenating is done by the bees it is real easy for a bee to move to the next plant and cross pollenate two different types of plants. In the past I have planted butter beans and green beans in the garden and few of them got crossed. Same thing with melons, tomatoes, squash but its not a big deal as long as unlike plants are not too close together. If you plant hot peppers next to your sweet bell pepper you may end up with hot bell peppers I have had that happen before.

The SUN rises every morning in the EAST and travels across the Southern sky at about 45 to 85 deg angle depending on your geographical locations and it sets in the West. Plant all your short plants on one side of the garden and all your tallest plants on the opposite side of the garden so the tall plants will not shade the short plants. Maximum sun will give you max growth. With N/S row orientation I like to plant my corn on the West side of the garden so it will shade my tomatoes in the hot afternoon sun. I don't like sun burned tomatoes. It gets over 100 deg F in Tennessee for about a month. Mornings are cool, it is hot by 12 noon, and very hot after lunch until about 5 pm. If I can get only a couple hours of afternoon shade on my tomatoes it helps they got all the sun they needed all morning.

If you alternate beans it is a nighmare to pick. If you put 2 or 3 different kinds on beans in the same row it will drive you crazy. Plant all the same thing in each row. Black beans in one row, lima beans in the next row, green beans in the next row. If you get your plants all mixed together it will take hours to sort through those plant trying to find the beans you want. If you just pick them all mixed then you have to seperate them in the kitchen later. This can take hours if you have a lot of beans.

There has also been some research in planting by signs. All the old times plant by signs. Plant top crops by full moon and bottom crops by the dark of the moon. For years this was considered to be a myth. Some research was done by several Universities and they all discovered planting by signs really works. It works because of the growth cycle of each plant. You want the fruit on ALL plant to mature by the dark of the moon. Sun light, moon light, car lights, street lights will stunt the growth of your crop. Do a web search and read all about it. I never plant by the moon I plant when the weather gets right.

This is how I am going to plant my garden this year.

CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

CCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCCC

T..........T..........T..........T..........T...........T...........T...........T

T..........T..........T..........T..........T...........T...........T...........T

T..........T..........T..........T..........T...........T...........T...........T

BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB

BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB

BBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBBB

BP........BP.........E..........E.........CP.........CP........CP........CP

YS........YS........YS........YS........ZS........ZS.........ZS........ZS


M....................M....................M..................M..................M


C= Corn
T=Tomatoes
B=Bush Beans
BP=BellPeppers
E=Egg Plant
CP=Chili Pepper
YS=YellowSquash
ZS=Zucchini Squash
M=Melons

Rows are 3 ft apart 25 ft long each planted North/South.
Last edited by Gary350 on Fri Apr 09, 2010 12:07 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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applestar
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Re: allrighty

OK. First SusanW is correct that you're supposed to plant corn first, then beans, then squash, but LeeBooker is not planting pole beans so it probably won't be an issue.
LeeBooker wrote:Here's exactly what we are planting. Please correct anything you see wrong.
Now, LB -- WOW. You've got the whole spread. I'm just going to add a few comments then I'm signing off because it's getting late over here.... (Remind me why I do this again? Oh yeah, because I've been there: Excited about a new project, frustrated and scared that I might be doing it wrong, and wishing someone would help set me straight. :wink: And I remember how disappointing it is when you don't get your answer before having to go ahead with what you got. Right. :bouncey:)

It would really help folks to help you if you indicated dimensions and which compass direction these rows or beds run. We're kind of flying blind here.

Basic rule for interplanting in deeply prepared raised bed is if in-row planting distance for plant A is AA and plant B is BB, then distance between A and B should be (AA+BB)/2.
#1
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C
......T.......T.......T.......T.......T.......T.......T.......T.......T.......T.......T......T
C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C B B C
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(C=CUCUMBERS) (B=BUSH BEANS) (T=TOMATO)
(1) Some companion planting guides suggest that tomatoes and cucumbers are not compatible
(2) I would grow cukes on a tall trellis behind the tomatoes and bush beans in front of the tomatoes. Cukes will try to climb all over the tomatoes. Tomatoes should be at least 24" apart.
#2
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T
B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C
T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T B T
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(C=CABBAGE) (T=TOMATO) (B=LIMA BEANS)
(1) Some companion planting guides suggest that tomatoes and cabbage family are not compatible.
(2) You didn't indicate where you are, but cabbages are typically cool weather crops and transplants would've been planted about a month before tomatoes. As it is, it may or may not help to plant the cabbages where they would be shaded by the tomatoes
(3) I think there are Lima BUSH beans and Lima POLE beans. I would put the bush beans in the front, pole beans in the back. I'm not sure if it's wise to let pole beans climb all over the tomatoes though. They may end up shading them too much. If these are the same Lima beans and the ones you're planting with the corn, then they should stay low enough to be OK but may get too shaded by the toms if you plant them in between. How about just in the front?
#3
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B
C C C C C C C C C C sq C C C C C C C C C sq C C C C C C C C C C C
B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B C B
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(B=LIMA BEANS) (C=BLACK CORN) (sq=SQUASH)
The way you have it, I don't see how the squash has any room to grow.... but this is the group we discussed before, I assume.
#4
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P
C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C P C
P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P P
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(P= PINK EYE PURPLE HULL PEAS) (C-CUCUMBERS)
Does your row run north-south so both sides of the row gets sun? I'm pretty sure southern peas are only 24" H. Are you trellising the cukes or letting them sprawl? I'm used to thinking of growing cukes on tall trellises, so I tend to think short plants in the front (south). I really don't know how this one would work out.

*Oh good, Gary's posted while I was working on this and has discussed row orientation. Your plans seem to indicate north-south orientation to me, the way you have shorter plants along both sides of the rows....
#5
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B T T B T T B B T T B T T B B T T B T T B B T T B T T B B T T B T T B
S B T T B T T S B T T B T T S B T T B T T S B T T B T T S B T T B T T S
B T T B T T B B T T B T T B B T T B T T B B T T B T T B B T T B T T B
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
(B=RED BEANS) (T=TURNIPS) (S=SWEET PEPPERS)
I think this one looks OK. :D I can't think of any reason for it not to. :wink:

Hope that helps. :D

LeeBooker
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Thanks

I really appreciate all the input. I am going to rework my plans with your suggestions, This has really helped a lot!

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applestar
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You're welcome :D Keep us posted with your progress. It would be interesting to hear how the combinations work out for you. :wink:

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