The Day After: A Miracle?

Sweet corn Thursday morning, July 2, 2020.

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. I woke up Thursday morning and the sweet corn was standing up perfectly straight as if nothing had happened the night before… Was it a miracle? Did the garden elves stand it back up? Hmmm…

I finished this post late Thursday evening but I decided to save it as a draft until Friday morning after I checked it over again. At 12:30 Friday night (Saturday morning) I was wondering why no one had commented on this post. Then I thought, “DUH!” I forgot to click on publish when it was finished in the morning…

 

Sweet corn Wednesday morning, July 1, 2020.

For those of you who didn’t see it on the Wordless Wednesday post, the above photo is what I woke up to Wednesday morning. Sometime in the morning, maybe around 4-5 AM, I heard it thundering and then the wind picked up. Then it started pouring. The forecast had said 30% chance of rain, less than one-tenth of an inch with higher amounts possible during thunderstorms. When I heard the wind I thought, “the corn will blow over.” I hadn’ slept a wink hardly until it started raining but it put me to sleep. I got up, not telling when, made coffee, fed the cats, and checked the rain gauge. There was 2″. I didn’t look toward the garden because I really didn’t want to see it until I was more awake.

 

Sweet corn from the north side of the garden Wednesday morning, July 1, 2020.

I walked all around the garden and it wasn’t a very pretty sight. The row on this side had been hilled earlier but it looked like it hadn’t been hilled up at all. The row next to it had not been hilled yet.

 

Sweet corn on Wednesday, July 1, 2020.

The two rows closest to the fence had been hilled within the past week. Normally, it would have already been hilled up but some of the corn was still fairly small. Then we got a little rain a couple of times and it really shot up…

I commented to a few people in town about the corn blowing over and they said, of course, “It will stand back up.” OK, that may be true in some cases but not always. In the past, I have been very surprised that it has stood back up on its own but that was when it hadn’t blown over that much. It was more or less leaning a little but not severely blown over. I have grown corn enough over the years to know even if corn does stand back up it will not be perfectly straight like it was before it blew over. It will curve upward just like most other plants do and look weird… Who wants weird corn? I knew I needed to get in the there and straighten it back up before it started its curving, and trust me, it starts doing that sooner than you would expect. You can’t wait to see if it stands back up on its own for a few days… 

Garden soil flat as a pancake!

Apparently, it rained pretty hard because the beautifully tilled soil was now perfectly flat. Not a clod in sight. I had planted half a double row of green beans and planned on planting the other half on July 1. You might ask why I didn’t plant it all? Hmmm… I keep hearing my dad in my head about planting in the sign. I didn’t plant any of the garden in the sign as far as I know because I hadn’t checked an almanac or online. I did look before I planted the green beans and saw the next good day was July 1st. SO, I was planning on planting the other half in the sign to make a comparison… Well, I can’t very well plant the seed in the mud. I still have quite a few green beans in jars so I hadn’t planned on planting any. A friend had issues with rabbits and deer eating his so I told him I could plant a row in my garden… He happily agreed to that. I first planted old seed which started to expand then rotted… That was partly my fault, I think, but I am not going to talk about that. So, he bought new seed and I think every one has came up.

The watermelons, by the way, are ding great. I have pruned out a lot of the side branches but still have a lot to do. I have found a few tiny watermelons but mostly just a lot of flowers. Only one out of seven flowers will be female and bear fruit so you want to avoid trimming out any vines with flowers. Luckily, the side branches I removed had no flowers or very few. The vines get longer every day and it is amazing how fast they are growing. Not quite as fast as the sweet potatoes I grew a few years ago, though.

 

First furrow…

Some of the corn had blown over a couple of weeks earlier when we just had wind and no rain. I was able to get right in and stand it back up with no problem. This time, with 2″ of rain, I couldn’t just jump right in and do it. I also had other obligations in the afternoon so I waited until early evening to get started. By then the soil wasn’t quite as wet.

With so much corn blown over, I just started at the north end and piled dirt up next to the corn. When corn is short you can stand on one side of the row and use a hoe or something to pull the soil toward the corn from the other side. This row had been hilled up several weeks ago but I couldn’t tell it. It is a good thing the soil had been tilled recently so it was still fairly loose even though wet. I couldn’t get as much soil as I wanted on the corn because it was wet, heavy, and kept packing on the gizmo I was using. OK, I was using this strange-looking tool dad had bought from Publishers Clearing house with cultivator prongs on one side and a flat hoe-like deal on the other. It had an extendable handle that says Black and Decker. I had never used it before because I enjoy a sturdy hoe with a strong ash handle. GEEZ! (I miss my hoe I bought in the 1980’s I left behind when I, umm, left my ex-wife after 20 years… It was a Bulldog and I also left behind the Bulldog spade and fork… I wonder what became of them? I have a good idea…) ANYWAY…

 

Once I had the row hilled up on one side, I went back to the end of the row and one stalk at a time I carefully stood it up and reached through the corn to pull dirt from the other side. You have to pack it a little and push your fingers through the mud next to the roots to make sure there is soil around them.

I did make a discovery while standing the second row in the front section… I had been wondering why it hadn’t been doing as well as the rest and found a mole tunnel right under the corn… The corn in the second photo that is almost flat is where the mole tunnels were. Almost the whole length of the row. There are no moles in the garden now because the mole repeller is doing a great job keeping them out.

 

The corn that had been hilled up the last was much easier to stand back up. There was still plenty of soil and all I had to do was stand it back up as needed and firm the soil around the stalk. SO, it is a good idea to always hill your corn as often as necessary to keep a good supply of soil to use when it blows over…

I finished at 9:30 PM and I was very dirty and it was nearly dark…

 

I went out the next morning and the corn looked like it had not blown over at all. I couldn’t tell how it looked in the dark.

Now, I am ready for the next round of wind…

Until next time, be safe and say positive. Stay well and always be thankful. By the way…GET DIRTY!

29 comments on “The Day After: A Miracle?

  1. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Good job setting the corn upright.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Lisa! Thanks! I have done that so many times over the years I am used to it by now. Even so, it is saddening when the wind blows and I know what is probably happening to the corn. But, once I get it stood back up, it is a good feeling us success! Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jim R says:

    After putting so much time and energy into the corn, it will probably taste especially good. That is, if the raccoons don’t get to it before you do. Good luck.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Littlesundog says:

    Wow! I have never heard of anyone doing this or going to so much work to save their corn, but WOW, it payed off for you!! I’ll have to show this to my brother, who raises corn every year and a couple of weeks ago, lost most of his crop. Maybe if he had tried this method of righting the stalks, he could have saved his sweet corn. Great post and explanation of how you managed it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Laura! The first thing is to always hill your corn so there is plenty of soil around the base of the stalks. Sometimes, if you get wind and no rain, the corn will not blow over. If you get a soaking, the corn will still blow over because the soil is loose. Without the soil being hilled, sometimes the corn can snap off. I have done it many times over the years and it gets easier but it is still frustrating that it happens in the first place. I could leave it laying down but then it would just curve upward. Some varieties of corn have stringer root systems and stalks. The ‘Incredible’ seems to be stronger than ‘Peaches and Cream’. I remember years ago I planted ‘Stowell’s Evergreen’ because my grandpa always planted it. It is an open-pollinated heirloom that produces HUGE ears of white sweet corn. It grows very tall and it is very strong. Sorry to hear about your brother’s corn especially if he had a lot. Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Dayphoto says:

    That turned out VERY well…clap clap and job well done! Happy 4th! for Sure!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Linda! It certainly worked out well with it being such a mess in the beginning. I have done it so many times but it seemed a little worse than usual especially the corn that had the old mole tunnels under it. Thanks for the HAPPY 4th AGAIN! I hope you and yours have a GREAT 4thas well. Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Debbie says:

    My goodness that seems like hard work! I really admire the positive spirit of the Rooster! just get in there and sort it out – Brilliant. The Corn seem huge & there is a vast family of them; i think they might overwhelm me with their antics!
    I’m interested in the watermelon growing – & the 1 in 7 thing -can we see them? do you think i could grow one in a greenhouse here? In the ground, What do they need?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Debbie! Well, the only way to solve a problem is to just do it.:) There is no way I could have left it like that because it would have really bugged me. If the corn was in the back of the farm it would have been different, but for one thing, it is right along the street. People would have been saying, “OH, poor corn”, or “poor Lonnie! He worked so hard on the garden and now the corn has blown over.” LOL! Plus people always say, “It will stand back up on its own.” Now they will be saying, “See, it stood back up.” LOL! I have grown taller sweet corn, in fact, the ‘Incredible’ seems short this year compared to before. I am going to write a post about watermelons soon. I watched several YouTube videos about pruning watermelons, which is weird in itself. Most people just plant them and let them grow and know nothing about pruning. I am not normal, though. 🙂 I’m not sure about growing watermelon in the greenhouse but I am sure you could if you hand pollinate. They grow much better outside in the ground in the fresh air. There are so many varieties of watermelons and even bush types that won’t vine 40′ feet. Pruning is also a way to keep the vines shorter, but there is an important trick to that. I have not grown watermelon for MANY years so I am experimenting. Some hybrids have shorter maturity dates, but the ones that get HUGE require a long season. My grandpa was one of the watermelon kings in the area and he grew several varieties and saved his own seed. Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Like

  6. Helen says:

    Happy 4th July.

    I’m glad you got your sweetcorn standing up after what looks like a lot of hard work. I’d have been very upset if I’d seen all my crop down like that!

    Here it’s been windy but so far there have been no garden casualties.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. tonytomeo says:

    That is too good to be true. I probably would not have put so much effort into it, but instead just let them do what they will, and take what I could get from them.

    Like

  8. I wish I had half of your energy! I am so happy for you that you didn’t lose the corn. Your garden is so impressive. Do you sell the produce or can/freeze it all for yourself?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Diane! I freeze the corn and I may can some of the tomatoes. I will freeze some of the kale as well, but it is shared with the worms. I always share with friends, neighbors, and whoever needs it. My sister is “supposed” to help with the corn because she requested bi-color. I asked if the would help if I planted bi-color and she said she would. Hmmm… We shall see… Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, that was a lot of work! You are so lucky to have the heat to plant corn. I bet it tastes delicious! There is nothing sweeter than getting freshly harvest corn. Glad they all turned out ok!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hello Dana! Once you get used to this happening at least once a summer it just becomes part of the ordeal. You always know it is going to happen but you don’t know when. Fresh sweet corn is always delicious. I am glad it all worked out, too. Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Like

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