Experiment akin to 3 sisters; tomato, sunflower and cucumber
I'm very interested in the benefits of companion planting, and in particular the Three Sisters technique (which I'm trying this year) for the structural and space-saving benefits it provides.
I researched far and wide for any other methods that might have similarly manyfold benefits, but couldn't find anything else comparable.
However from my research I discovered something rather interesting. This in particular is taken from the list on Wikipedia ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_companion_plants ). I have seen other lists that directly contradict this information. But much of the data on companion planting seems to be based on hearsay and sensitive crystallization (!) rather than any rigorous scientific theory or experiment. So I am really looking for anyone who might have any past experience of how these plants fare together!
According to Wikipedia; sunflowers help tomatoes, and cucumbers are helped by sunflowers (why these two items aren't inversely listed I don't know!) Also according to a long list of companions linked from another thread here, cucumber is a companion of both sunflower and tomato. I've seen other links between the two, although I've seen at least one list that described a negative relation between two of them (don't have the link right now).
What I've planted is: two rows of sunflowers with a wide gap in the middle, in which I've spaced out a number of tomato plants, and dotted cucumbers around.
The benefits I'm hoping for are:
- Sunflowers provide both support and cover for the tomatoes (I've arranged them as a kind of cage)
- Cucumbers provide ground cover
- Inherent companion planting benefits (whatever these might be!)
So, am I doing something really daft? Am I the first person to try this method?
Assuming this works out, and nobody has thought of it before, I'm inclined to name the technique "Children of Jah" since a friend pointed out that red, gold and green are popularly the colours of Rastafarism.
Any insights appreciated! :)