This article has been marked as incomplete and missing references. Please help us to improve it.

Practical Plants is a community wiki. You can edit this page to improve the quality of the information it contains. To learn how, please read the editing guide.

Polycultures in history

Polycultures precede modern agriculture, and were much used throughout history to maximise crop yield on plots of land small enough to be managed without modern machinery. In Italy there is evidence that the practice of intercropping grape vines and Acer campestre (Field Maple) dates back to the late medieval period[1]. The Native Americans were known to grow a polyculture of beans, corn, and vine squash known as The Three Sisters: the corn providing structure for the beans to grow up while offering partial shade, the beans fixing the soil with nitrogen, and the vine squashes forming a dense ground cover[Reference needed!]


  1. ? Zachary Nowak Looking Back to the Future: Historical Polycultures in Central Italy Agroforestry News Vol 19 No 4 (2011/08/01)