July 26, 2021 Garden Update…

Hello everyone! I hope this post finds you well. The above photo looks MUCH different from the last photo of the garden. I was almost in panic mode for a while… I was late planting the garden because of the weird weather and then it started raining AGAIN…

 

The last post about the garden was a month ago on 6-28-21. It had been raining for several days and I was having to wait to till the soil (above photo). FINALLY, after it stopped raining and the soil was dry enough I got in and worked it over. Once the corn and beans were tall enough I hilled all the rows up. With all the moisture, everything was looking a bit yellow. With no cows, there hadn’t been any of the “good stuff” to put on the garden for several years before planting. I know corn needs nitrogen, so I had to make a decision. SO… breaking my organic rules (which I really had very few of) I bought a bag of 12-12-12 from the hardware store for the sweet corn. I checked with the Farmer’s Co-op first and they were completely out because many other people were having the same issues with their sweet corn.

It may sound funny, but I watched videos on YouTube to see how to fertilize the corn… In all the years as a gardener, I have never bought fertilizer for the garden. Giving the green beans 12-12-12 would be an absolute NO but the corn needed some ZIP. I also bought some fertilizer spikes for the tomatoes. Sometime between now and next spring, I plan on cleaning out the chicken house to put on the garden. I usually pile up their old stuff in an open area next to the chicken house, but it just kind of disappears…

 

Like I mentioned in the last post about the garden, Nathan planted four rows of Ambrosia (bicolor) and I planted four rows of Bodacious along the west side of the garden On June 3. On the 4th, I planted four rows of Incredible next to the Bodacious. The Ambrosia and Bodacious, which I had not tried before, came up pretty good but the Incredible did not come up well at all. Once I was able, I replanted it and it came up MUCH better. But, as you can see in the above photo, the Incredible is just now looking good. It didn’t get fertilized and hilled until a few days ago because it wasn’t ready…

 

HMMM… Jade saw me go toward the garden, so she had to come as well. She likes being with me in the garden and walking around to see if she can find anything to chase. She seems to enjoy the butterflies…

 

Last week, I think (or maybe the week before) I noticed the Ambrosia and Bodacious had started tasseling… It was only like 4′ or so tall! I thought, “GEEZ! That is weird…” I am so used to corn being much taller and it seemed too soon. It is 75-day corn so it should be ready around August 17 (or thereabouts). The past week the corn shot up like magic. I am not saying it was because of the fertilizer because the earlier Incredible that did come up did the same thing without being fertilized. Incredible is also a 75-day corn, but it had not started tasseling.

 

The Ambrosia and Bodacious have ears on the lower half of the stalk, making it easier for raccoons to get to if they have a chance. Since I have the electric fence around the garden with five wires raccoons seldom get in the garden. Kernal row numbers are determined during the 5th and 6th stage.

 

Not all the stalks are progressing at the same rate, even though the seed germinated at the same time. Some are just beginning to silk while the silk on others are beginning to show more color.

 

I had wondered about pollination, but there is certainly no need to worry about that. Depending on the sweet corn variety, pollination occurs 45-50 days after emergence. Normally, the last branch of the tassel is visible 2-3 days before silk appears. I may need to hand pollinate the Incredible that came up first…

I had not done any research about the different stages of sweet corn growth until now. Normally, I just get the garden ready to plant and then plant it. Dad always used the seeder and planted the green beans and sweet corn in double rows. While he was still alive, I did it like he wanted, even though at times I may not agree. Last summer I continued planting in double rows with the seeder but I paid closer attention and I learned a few things. The holes in the seeder are big enough for 2-4 seeds to get planted in the same spot a certain many inches apart. Watching the seeder, I noticed that sometimes the seed would fall out and not get planted, especially if too many tried to get in the cup on the seeder disc. Angling the seeder a little helped somewhat. The two problems with the seeder were 1) sometimes it didn’t plant the seed, and 2) the seed was planted too close together. To me, having to thin out that many plants was such a waste of seed.

SO, this year I decided I would plant single rows instead of double and do t by hand instead of using the seeder. I showed Nathan how to plant corn, so he started with the Ambrosia at one end of the garden, and I started planting the Bodacious about 30 or so feet away (25′ row, a five foot space, then another 25′ row). I put a stick where I wanted him to stop and I had a tape measure laid out so “we” could plant one seed every 8 inches. When Nathan was finished with his 25′ row, he kept going and I didn’t notice at first. The next thing I know he had passed the stick and was planting Ambrosia where I already planted Boadacous. GEEZ! Somehow he was faster than I was. (I was thinking, “GEEZ! That kid screwed up somewhere.”). Anyway, after I finished my row, we measured 3′ over, put the stakes in the ground with the string to mark our rows, moved the tape measure over, and started again. This time, I told Nathan we would plant 3-4 seeds every 8 inches. We repeated the process until we had both planted 4 rows.

There are a couple of reasons I planted single rows instead of double… One is because the spacing is somewhat more tricky. To get the spacing right, you have to plant the second row 8″ from the first one. I guess that isn’t so tricky when I think about it, but the other reason makes more sense. Hilling one row is much easier than hilling two together. Not only that, standing a double row of corn back up after the wind has blown it over is a REAL pain in the neck… I figure it will be much easier with a single row. Now all I need is some wind to find out. Wait a minute… I don’t really want that much wind, I am just saying I am prepared.

Before, I noticed there were a lot of stalks that had no ears which is a sign they were too close together. This year, I can assure you that all the corn that emerged at the same time, being 8″ apart, have ears. The majority have four ears, some have three, and I have even noticed several stalks with five. This would be a GREAT time for rain… Using T-tape would be great because corn produces best with consistent moisture. But you know, the soil is still not that dry. If most of the ears fill out well, and they should with all the pollen, I may pass last year’s crop of 373 ears. That will be with less than half as many stalks…

I still don’t understand why some of the seeds didn’t emerge. You would think planting 3-4 seeds per “hill” or “hole” (whatever you call it) at least one would make it. But, that is not the case. I dug down in the soil where the corn didn’t emerge only to find all the seed had sprouted but died before emerging. SO, all the Incredible that didn’t come up simply rotted that was planted a day later in the same conditions. I did find out Incredible has a poor germination rate at cooler temps than Bodacious. Even though the temperature was warm enough when I planted, it started raining and the temps dropped for several days. That was likely the problem… I wouldn’t mind planting four more rows of Incredible, but that would put the harvest date to mid-October. Hmmm… That would be a gamble with the first “F” happening around then… But I have this HUGE 14′ x 53′ bare spot!

I read a very good article about the stages of sweet corn by Seminis which was very helpful. I didn’t realize there were so many stages of growth… I also watched several videos where experiment stations had experimented with spacing on field corn.

 

The dark spot a little above the center of the photo is where Jade is laying down. She is about 4 feet into the section where the Bodacious is planted. I knew when I got ready to leave she would not come when I called her. She constantly reminds me she is a cat, not a dog.

 

The ‘Top Crop’ Green Beans are coming along very well and blooming up a storm. I don’t bother them too much because in the heat I think the flowers fall off more easily.

 

I think I will get my first picking in a couple of days so they are right on schedule. I didn’t take any photos of the tomatoes but they are doing pretty good and growing well. Not too many tomatoes, but the vines look great. Hmmm…

 

As I suspected, I was ready to leave the garden and Jade didn’t come when I called. I went back where she was before and she was still there. Even when I squatted down at the end of the row she still refused to come. I threw a small clod of dirt at her when she wasn’t looking which made her jump up. At least I got her attention then she followed me out of the garden… 🙂

 

The Barn Cat was taking it easy on the back porch…

 

And so was Simba…

 

Most of the cactus are on the back porch enjoying the heat and sun of the summer.

 

The Alocasia are also looking GREAT!

Well, that’s about all have today for now. I will take a few photos of the plants on the front porch. They seem to be all in pretty good shape enjoying the summer outside. We won’t talk about the flower beds or the Hosta. The deer have been busy in the shade bed, which usually never happens. They have ruined a few of the Hosta… GEEZ!

Until next time, be safe, stay positive, and always be thankful. As always, GET DIRTY!

 

 

18 comments on “July 26, 2021 Garden Update…

  1. shoreacres says:

    All this is really out of my wheelhouse, but it’s interesting. Clearly, there’s more to this gardening business than most non-gardeners realize!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. pixydeb says:

    This veg garden is very impressive- the corn in particular. I think maybe you could have a go with planting more corn- I’m hoping as the first bit of summer has been weird & changeable we might be lucky late on – feels like we are owed a late warm spell 🤔 Fingers crossed

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Debbie. I think I will give it a shot. To much wasted space in the garden at the moment. The forecast says 97° F for Wednesday and Thursday, 91 on Friday, and a 50% chance of rain on Saturday. I think the heat is on. 🙂 Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Like

  3. Jim R says:

    Next year, when planting your corn, put a dead fish in each hill of kernels. I learned that in grade school from a story about American Indians. It must be true. And, it is pre-internet. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Jim! I remember learning that, too. I wonder how big the fish has to be. Maybe I can buy a bunch of minnows. I think you are supposed to bury fish heads 6-8″ deep every 12″. Bloodmeal serves the same purpose. Take care and thanks for the comment.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Littlesundog says:

        I had a good chuckle with the fish planting. I did that one year and did I ever regret it. Every varmint in the country came to dig up the fish! Of course with that we had fish and fish parts strewn all over and the smell was atrocious. Another year I tried fish emulsion, with much the same result. Varmints dug up most of my seed. Total train wreck. I don’t tell that story much because each time people respond with “Well, DUH!! What did you expect??” I should have though it through better.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Helo Lori! Well, we all experiment with different things throughout our lives. It’s all a learning process to get the results we want. After Jim’s comment, I read about using fish and decided it wouldn’t be a good idea for the same reasons you experienced.

          I am sure dad had a great plan when he put all that electric fence up around the garden and every few days I make sure it is working properly. Even so, one year, maybe 2014, the raccoons got in anyway. Yesterday when I went to the garden I noticed I forgot to hook up the electric fence the evening before. I had done that before and nothing happened so I thought nothing of it. I started working on the tomatoes and noticed several of the plants had been nibbled on. Not much, but just enough to make me curious. I always look for worms but I saw none and it really didn’t look like worm damage. I went to the green beans and noticed a few needed picked then I saw the plants at the end of every row had their tops gone. I looked over in the tilled area, where nothing is planted, and saw deer tracks in the dirt… It is probably from the doe that has been hanging around lately and likely the same one that has been snacking on the Hosta… I made sure the electric fence is working properly and that it was connected. The tracks in the dirt were from only one deer, which is a good thing, otherwise several would have completey ruined the green bean crop.

          Take care and thanks for the comment!

          Like

  4. rmkinder says:

    I’m not a gardener, as you know, but I enjoyed this post, as usual, loved the photos. The cats are great, too. My cats always help me in the yard. Lark, a young male, wants to drink from any hose. Thanks.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Rose Marie! Lark drinking from your hose is unusual for a cat. At least I never heard of that before. Like humans and “intelligent creatures”, we all have our own little peculiarities that make us unique. Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Like

  5. Dayphoto says:

    Everything is looking very good! I love seeing your fur kids!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. tonytomeo says:

    Gee, that garden is so neat, and so spacious! I miss flat space like that. My garden is so steep than vegetable plants must grow in craters to hold water.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Suzassippi says:

    Your Jade reminds me of my Beyonce (a tortie aptly named because she has gold tips on mostly black hair.). She is about 7th generation tortie, so she does not look much like the first 2 who arrived on the hill who were already ‘with kitty.’ Your garden is impressive. I got the last two tomatoes from my one plant today, but the dill, rosemary, basil, and cilantro are all doing well. If only I had time to cook!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello Suzi! The garden is doing well now. I picked a handful of green beans this evening and there will be A LOT more in a couple of days I noticed I forgot to hook up the electric fence yesterday so when I went to the bean patch I saw I had at least one visitor during the night. I saw deer tracks in the tilled soil. 🙂 My tomatoes are still green but they are doing well. Cilantro makes me run… Take care and thanks for the comment!

      Liked by 1 person

Please leave a comment. I would like to hear from you.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.