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Thank you so much for the rose i ordered for my parents golden wedding anniversary. They were not just delighted with the rose itself but also with the wonderful way it was wrapped and packaged so carefully. You helped to make their day truly special. Thank you again
Jackie Hague, Woodbridge

bbcgw-three-sisters-bed-001.jpg

    How To Grow Sweetcorn, Beans and Squashes Using The Three Sisters Method

     

    The tradition of growing sweetcorn, beans and squashes together is laid down in the stories of the Iroquois people (Native North Americans) who believed that corn, beans and squash were three inseparable sisters and would only grow and thrive together. Bringing things right up to date, it is easy to see that the tradition describes a sustainable growing method providing long-term soil fertility and maximising growing space.

    The sweetcorn provides a natural support for the beans whilst the beans help to stabilise the corn plants, making them less vulnerable to blowing over in the wind. The shallow-rooted squash plants become a living mulch, smothering emerging weeds and cutting down on water evaporation from the soil, thus improving the crops' overall chances of survival in dry years. The beans fix nitrogen on their roots, improving the fertility of the soil for the following year. Couple that with the huge amount of vegetation produced by the combination that can be dug in or composted and the sustainability of the method soon proves itself.

    Success in growing using the Three Sisters system does need some careful attention to timing and seed spacing; if you simply plant all three in the same hole at the same time you will end up with a tangle of beans and squashes fighting for supremacy, overwhelming the sweetcorn completely! You may use any of our varieties of Sweetcorn and either Climbing French Beans, Runner Beans or Borlotto Beans. All our Squash and Pumpkin varieties are suitable for this planting scheme, though those with a trailing habit (Winter Squashes and Pumpkins) will obviously cover a greater area.

    Planting Out

    Ideally, you need an area a minimum of 10 x 10 feet (3 x 3 metres). Should you wish to scale up that is fine; if you scale down for smaller areas you may find that your sweetcorn may not pollinate properly and you will not get full cobs.

    • With string lines mark off three 10 feet (3 metres) rows, 5 feet (1.5 metres) apart.
    • In each row draw up the soil in five mounds approximately 18" (45 cm) in diameter and 2½ feet (75 cm) from the centre of one to the next.
    • Starting with one of the outer rows, put 4 sweetcorn plants in the second and fourth mounds. Set the plants out 6" (15 cm) apart in a square pattern.
    • In the middle row, put 4 sweetcorn plants in each of the first, third and fifth mounds. Set the plants out 6" (15 cm) apart in a square pattern.
    • In the other outer row, put 4 sweetcorn plants in each of the second and fourth mounds. Set the plants out 6" (15 cm) apart in a square pattern.
    • When the sweetcorn has grown to around 12" (30 cm) tall you can plant out your squash plants and sow your bean seeds. First, weed off the entire patch before sowing 4 bean seeds in each sweetcorn mound. Sow the seeds equally spaced 3" (7.5 cm) away from the sweetcorn plants.
    • Now plant two squash plants in each of the vacant mounds (1, 3 & 5 in row one; 2 & 4 in row two; 1, 3 & 5 in row three).

    With your planting now completed all you need do is weed until the squashes have covered the ground, and water as required, harvesting the crops as they are ready.


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    Climbing French Bean Seed 'Blue Lake'

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    A stringless variety of this popular bean. Gorgeously sweet flavour either raw or cooked, and well suited for freezing or drying. Can be dried and used as a haricot.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 115 seeds.

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    Climbing French Bean Seed 'Fasold'

    sq-climbing-french-bean-fasold-001.jpg

    A black-seeded variety that produces heavy crops of pencil-thick beans with good flavour and very good freezing qualities.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 75 seeds.

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    Runner Bean Seed 'Polestar'

    sq-runner-bean-polestar-003.jpg

    A heavy-cropping variety that produces bright green fleshy pods that are completely stringless. Early cropper.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 30 seeds.

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    Squash Seed 'Crown Prince'

    sq-squash-crown-prince-004.jpg

    Winter Squash. The best storing variety of squash we know - and probably the best flavoured, too. Grey-blue skinned fruits have rich orange flesh.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of 5 seeds.

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    Squash Seed 'Harlequin'

    sq-squash-harlequin-002.jpg

    Winter Squash. A highly attractive green, gold and yellow striped acorn / dumpling squash. Exceptionally sweet flesh. F1 Hybrid.
    Currently Not Available To Purchase - Available from
    Supplied as a packet of 5 seeds.

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    Squash Seed 'Honey Bear'

    Squash Seed 'Honey Bear'

    Winter Squash. A lovely individual-sized squash with green skin and yellow middle. Deliciously sweet and has a compact growing habit.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of 5 seeds.

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    Squash Seed 'Hunter'

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    Winter Squash. Pale cream-skinned fruits have rich golden orange flesh which is exceptionally sweet. Specifically bred for the UK climate.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of 5 seeds.

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    Squash Seed 'Spaghetti'

    sq-squash-vegetable-spaghetti-004.jpg

    Winter Squash. Fantastic in every way! The plump rugby ball-shaped fruits mature to a pale yellow orange. Flesh resembles spaghetti when cooked.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of 5 seeds.

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    Squash Seed 'Turks Turban'

    sq-squash-turks-turban-004.jpg

    Winter Squash. A fruit hard to mistake! Sweet orange fruits with multi-coloured protuberances. Excellent keeping qualities.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of 5 seeds.

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    Sweetcorn Seed 'Lark'

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    Mid-season tendersweet variety. Produces medium-sized well-filled cobs of thin-skinned kernels. Tolerates cooler growing conditions well. F1 Hybrid.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 40 seeds.

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    Sweetcorn Seed Minipop

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    Babycorn. Four or five pale yellow babycorns are produced on each plant. Vigorous in habit and easy to grow with no pollination concerns. F1 Hybrid.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 30 seeds.

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    Sweetcorn Seed 'Strawberry Popcorn'

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    Popping Corn. Ruby-red rounded cobs are produced in abundance. Once dried, the kernels are simply the best variety for popping!
    Currently Not Available To Purchase - Available from
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 40 seeds.

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    Sweetcorn Seed 'Swift'

    Sweetcorn Seed 'Swift'

    A delicious early, sweet yellow variety which performs well in cooler climates including northern England. F1 hybrid.
    Available Now
    Supplied as a packet of approximately 40 seeds.

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    Climbing French Bean Plant 'Blue Lake'

    sq-climbing-french-bean-blue-lake-001.jpg

    A most delicious and reliable French Bean that defies any Summer drought and remain sugar sweet and tender. Easy to grow and very long cropping.
    Currently Not Available To Purchase - Available from early May NEXT YEAR
    Supplied as compost block grown plants.

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    Climbing French Bean Plant 'Fasold'

    sq-climbing-french-bean-fasold-001.jpg

    A black seeded Climbing French Bean with excellent flavour and continuity of cropping performance. Can be dried and used as a haricot bean.
    Currently Not Available To Purchase - Available from early May NEXT YEAR
    Supplied as compost block grown plants.

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    Squash Seed 'Kabocha'

    sq-squash-kabocha-002.jpg

    Winter Squash. Also known as Japanese Pumpkin. Rich orange flesh is protected by a thick dark green striped pale green skin. Exceptionally good keeping qualities. F1 Hybrid.
    Currently Not Available To Purchase - Available from APPROXIMATELY late October / early November 2021
    Supplied as a packet of 5 seeds.

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    Sweetcorn Plant 'Lark'

    sq-sweetcorn-swift-early-004.jpg

    Produces medium-sized golden yellow cobs with sweet, juicy thin-skinned kernels. Good tolerance to cooler growing conditions. F1 Hybrid.
    Currently Not Available To Purchase - Available from early May NEXT YEAR
    Supplied as compost block-grown plants.

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    Sweetcorn Plant Minipop

    sq-sweetcorn-babycorn-minipop-003.jpg

    Pale yellow, sweet and crunchy babycorn cobs. Easy to grow (no cross pollinating required as for other sweetcorn varieties). Vigorous and very reliable habit.
    Currently Not Available To Purchase - Available from early May NEXT YEAR
    Supplied as compost block grown plants.

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    Sweetcorn Plant 'Swift'

    Sweetcorn Plant 'Swift'

    A delicious early, sweet yellow variety which performs well in cooler climates including Northern England. F1 hybrid.
    Currently Not Available To Purchase - Available from early May NEXT YEAR
    Supplied as a compost block grown plant

    More information about Sweetcorn Plant 'Swift'




    Plant Passport Registration Number: GB-34265