Posted: 18/03/2015 at 21:18
I've heard of the Three Sisters planting technique, not tried it, but was going to try planting either mini pop with squash/small pumkins or mini pop and french beans. Mini pop grows as tall as sweetcorn.
I suspect native Americans probably planted sweetcorn further apart than what we would plant, allowing sun to get to the squash/pumkins which would grow on the ground and allowing for room to walk between the corn to pick the beans.
Planting in a long narrow bed would mean not needing to walk on the growing area, so a linear bed would make sense as you could reach each plant variety as it cropped. Sounds like you have a good plan.
Not heard of the fourth sister, but planting four plants in a relatively close planting area, me thinks would mean them all competing for the same nurients from soil in a confined space. Sunflowers and sweetcorn have deeper root systems than beans and squash, these grow nearer the surface than sweetcorn and sunflowers which are taller plants and need a stronger anchorage to prevent them being damaged in windy weather. I'd be inclined to plant sunflowers in a differnt area but close by.
I'm sure someone else will be along whose tried the three sisters.