QUESTION: Last year, squash plants really took up my garden. I want to plan a better garden this year with the space I have. What is a good companion plant for squash? -Kristy L
ANSWER: Try the Three Sisters planting method. Beans, corn, and squash (squash) are a perfect match of plants to share the same garden bed. The combination of these three vegetable crops have a positive effect on your garden’s ecosystem, making them excellent plant choices for the same area.
Beans will pull nitrogen from the air and supply it to the soil. This provides essential nutrients to heavy-feeding plants, like the squash. Corn acts as a natural trellis or support structure. It has a sturdy stalk for beans and squash, both vining varieties, to attach. Squash (or squash) plants grow large and abundant, keeping weeds from invading the garden bed. Squash plants also provide shade to keep the soil cool. The spiny leaves of the squash plant deter pests like rodents from destroying the beans and corn.
All three of these plants enjoy the same growing requirements, specifically moisture and soil fertility needs. This makes them a worry-free when it comes to caring for each plant. It is no surprise that these three vegetables are often paired together. In Native American gardens, they are an inseparable team. Here is a great resource from PennState Extension for planting Three Sisters Gardens.