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Author Topic: M A I Z E - ZEA MAYS  (Read 1073 times)
Superhero Member
Posts: 41646

« on: November 07, 2008, 09:52:35 am »

Maize was planted by the Native Americans in hills, in a complex system known to some as the "Three Sisters":

- beans used the corn plant for support and in turn provided nitrogen from nitrogen-fixing bacteria which live on the roots of beans and other legumes; and

- squashes provided ground cover to stop weeds and inhibit evaporation by providing shade over the soil.

This method was replaced by single species hill planting where each hill 60120 cm (24 ft) apart was planted with 3 or 4 seeds, a method still used by home gardeners.

A later technique was checked corn where hills were placed 40 inches apart in each direction, allowing cultivators to run through the field in two directions.

In more arid lands this was altered and seeds were planted in the bottom of 1012 cm (45 in) deep furrows to collect water.

Modern technique plants maize in rows which allows for cultivation while the plant is young, although the hill technique is still used in the cornfields of some Native American reservations.

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