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Three Sisters planting with seedballs?

 
pollinator
Posts: 335
Location: south-central ME, USA - zone 5a/4b
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Ok - technically I'm not a beginner when it comes to gardening, but I am completely new to seed balls. I'm also a beginner with large scale plantings and have never tried a three sisters planting before. I'm planning to cover around 1-1.5 acres in patches of three sisters plantings, using sunflower in place of traditional corn/maize, kentucky wonder type pole beans and mixed winter squash (butternut, acorn, surprise saved seeds...maybe some pumpkins).

Can this even be done with seed balls? If so, can I pack them in sets (1 sunflower, 2-3 beans and 1-2 squash to one ball) or should I only do one or two seeds of a type per ball and try to "spread them evenly"? They're big seeds so I worry that seed balls might not be the best method, but I have a lot of land to plant and would prefer to not be out there poking thousands of holes in the soil, only to find a murder of crows feasting the next morning!

Really hoping someone has had success planting these individually or in combination and has advice.

If there's a better place for this post, sorry to be cluttering the beginner forum - just wasn't sure where to stick it
 
Tristan Vitali
pollinator
Posts: 335
Location: south-central ME, USA - zone 5a/4b
66
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Wow - no one has ever done this? I was expecting at least some feedback - even if it was "NO DON'T DO IT YOU'LL FAIL"

It's hard to believe that I'd be the first to try this sort of thing. Depending on whether I decide to do it or not, I might revive this thread with results on how it works out. Small plantings of three sisters might be doable with a stick and pocket full of seeds, but I just can't imagine poking all those holes for even half an acre's worth!
 
pollinator
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I can think of a couple of reasons NOT to plant a three sisters garden with seedballs.

1) The poles (corn, or in your case sunflowers) are planted first to get a headstart on the vines that are going to climb them. And the ground cover (squash or melons) is planted last, when everything that could be smothered by them is already up.

2) The poles need to be spaced at regular intervals so that they can provide maximum support to the others. If you are going to use seedballs with random spacings, you will have plenty of support in one place and little or none in others.

Hey, I'm all for combining techniques to see if you can get the best of both worlds, but this doesn't look like one that is going to pan out.
 
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