Saturday, July 5, 2008

July 5, 2008

What a nice lazy day.  Mid 60s to lower 70s and scattered showers.  I took a nap, went to the nursery and did a bit of gardening.  Otherwise it's been a highly UNproductive day. Hehe compared to yesterday's hustle and bustle, I needed it.

If you recall, I have had a question out to the GW veggie folks on my corn.  Those folks are pretty amazing over there.  I have been getting email pings left and right.  Thanks to folks like Justaguy and Digdirt Dave, I found my solution.  Urea wasn't available locally so far as I could tell.  And besides, it's best to give corn more than just Nitrogen to promote good ear growth. With their help, I found what appears to be a good all-around solution for the health of my corn bed.

So my solution was to take the 5-10-10 all-around natural veggie fertilizer and mix it with blood meal, which is 13-0-0. 

The jar is cloudy because of the bloodmeal, which is a fine powder. The pellets is the Lilly Miller veggie blend.  Together I figure it's about 18-10-10, which is kind of potent I understand.  So I side dressed with a light sprinkle rather than a mound which is how I originally envisioned it.

Here is where I took a three prong hand claw to gently rake the top surface of the two tallest rows.  I only went a bit down because I was scratching roots.  Then I sprinkled the fertilizer and watered it in good.

See the top where I haven't fertilized? That will get done in about another month.  I've still got a good amount mixed so I stored it with the rest of my fertilizer.

On a related note, I've decided that I need to support my corn as it continues to grow.  It's not developing deep roots like I gave it room to do with 16 inch beds.  So the wind and weight of the stalks are causing them to fall over.

So to help them stand up I guess I'm going to have to built up the bed with 2x4s at the corners and stretch nylon netting across at about chest high.  Then as the corn grows I'll have to feed it through the six inch openings.  Let's hope that horizontal support is enough.  Grrr. Why doesn't corn develop deeper roots?

Anyway, it's been a while since you've seen my potato jungle.  For the most part both bins are growing well.

If you notice although the branches in the bottom left corner are dying, new growth is growing from the same main stalk.  Go figure.  I'm just happy it's not dying completely.  I don't want to severely limit my production.  Only time will tell.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. I think that horizontal support will do just fine! I put one on my corn bed at about 2.5/3 feet and my corn has withstood some major severe weather! I might have to put another seeing as though some of my corn is 6 feet high! Your nylon netting should support it nicely as it grows through.

  2. What makes you think your corn hasn't developed deep roots?
    And if it hasn't, then why not? What would the real problem be?
    I doubt the roots have anything to do with plants leaning over, unless the plants are actually uprooting, which they're not.
    I suspect your corn is too crowded. It's hard not to do this when your space is limited.
    The real test will be the final harvest. If you get two decent ears off of each stalk, then it's all good. If not, I'd give them more space next year. You'd get more corn per plant and healthier plants. Harvest time will tell.

  3. Hehe, I know they're crowded. That's what intensive gardening is about. If they can't handle it, and I get squat for harvest, then no more corn for me. If I had to plant with 18 inch spacing and 3 foot rows, I'd get 10-15 stalks of corn in my bed. What I'm doing is the same number as Mel suggests in his book. If that's not sufficient, then I'll do other veggies next year.

  4. I just was watching victory garden this weekend on PBS and they were at a garden that did companion planting with corn. They planted a pumpkin under the corn to shade the soil and then grew beans up the corn. Now the bean thing is not new to me because they do this in Asia but the pumpkin I have never seen done before. It would be interesting to try a Musque de Provence which is very disease resistant and develops late. I might try this next year and thought you may be interested as well.

    As for the spacing I don't think they are to close together. They plant them that close in the fields around here, they look about a foot apart in the photo. Not sure how the sun passes the plants but they may just be growing to the suns path. You want the corn to be planted in blocks that are close together as they are wind pollinated. If the pollen doesn't make it to the next plant you will end up with a corn cobs that are only partly developed.