Companion Planting: Corn

Here's hoping you already have your corn in the ground, but if not, you can use this info when you plant it the next growing season.

First, remember that corn is wind-pollinated, so plant in blocks instead of rows. I've had success with four rows of 10 each.

Sweet corn likes potatoes, peas, beans, cucumbers, pumpkins and other squash. Peas and beans provide the nitrogen that corn loves and needs so much.

If you plant corn with squash and beans, that's called "Three Sisters". Corn provides shade for the squash and a place for runner/pole beans to climb. Squash shades the ground to keep moisture in, plus the spikey parts of the squash help keep critters (especially raccoons) off the corn. The beans provide the nitrogen for the corn. Together, all three make a great complete-protein meal too (often called "succotash").

Pumpkins and other winding winter squash work well as the "moisture-keeper", but so do melon vines and cucumbers.

Consider planting sunflowers every 4 or 5 rows of corn. This strip of sunflowers will help reduce certain beetles that won't want to cross that strip.

Stay away from planting tomatoes anywhere near corn - the tomato fruitworm and the corn earworm are the same and will make a hasty tasty meal out of both.
I had a lot of earwigs in my cornpatch last year, but I read up on them and they don't eat the plants; they eat the little bugs. We pretty much left them alone, and still had at least 2 ears of corn per stalk.

There are a lot of websites giving detailed information on how to plant Three Sisters. Enjoy!


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the info. Here in Florida it is too hot for most plants now. I still have beans and okra. My tomatoes are on vacation but they just started blooming again.
GREAT news on having a contract on your house. I will be praying it will go through and that you will find the perfect place for your new homestead.

janet said...

There is an award for you on my blog. I love reading yours, so much helpful information!