Saturday, August 9, 2008

August 9, 2008

Wow, what a relaxing day.  Errands with the kids, an afternoon nap, time on the internet after the kids wore me out running and running.  Showers outside to cool down the muggy day.  Not bad. 

Frankly I couldn't figure out the "ton" of garden stuff I had to do outside.  I cleaned up a bit, watered, checked that my fall plantings were sprouting, but what more was there to do?  Ah the joy of gardening.

But that didn't stop me from taking some "feel good" shots of the garden.

Wow, what a sea of corn!  And all those silks on the left.  The right succession planting is coming along nicely.  But I just had to share close-ups of all those cobs growing. 

I counted over a dozen ears growing!  Of course, it's not the 200 I had planted, but my successions aren't ready yet, and you haven't seen the "pretty corn" yet...

I love the pink silks!  What a bonus. Cool when it's growing and I hope it's great to eat too!  And just to not be out-done by the double-ear stalks of the Seneca Horizon, here is one from the Precocious...

Of course you can see in the background the fallen soldiers that didn't hold up to my wimpy attempt to stake them up.  Frankly I left them. They seem to still be growing, so you never know.  

Speaking of fallen soldiers.  Here is my yukon gold bin...

It's kinda dying.  Not totally, but it's not looking good, especially in comparison to the jungle next to it. It's also got some sort of splotches on some leaves that is either a sign of the natural progression of the plants dying back signifying the completion of the potato growth, or some problematic insect infestation or watering problem.  Hehe, choices, choices, choices.


Anyway, I re-read the Ed Hume and Ciscoe sites and came to the conclusion that I most likely DO have potatoes growing down there.  In fact, Ed Hume said that I could have harvested new potatoes when my peas died back a month or so ago, or wait until October or November for storage potatoes.  This year I'm holding out, unless the Yukon Golds tip my hand early.  And don't worry Judy, I will definitely take pictures.

Enjoy your garden!


  1. Wow, you have lots more corn silks going on than we do! We have only got a couple and they are new. We didn't notice (unfortunately) that our corn planting area was going to be partially shaded due to some trees that (happily!) shade the south side of our house. Next season that will be lettuce and kale and other similar shade-wanting edibles!

    Re: the potatoes -- I don't really understand potatoes but I feel like I just harvest them once they start dying, and I keep track of which ones give a good yield at that point and which don't, and I propagate the good ones. They are annuals, so it's normal for them to die back, right? We have harvested at least 6 potato plants already, just in the past week or two, so in my mind it's time for me to stop worrying about them dying back. You know what I mean?

  2. About your corn, it's tricky to harvest at the right time. I have Seneca Arrowhead that's ripe now although I have been picking some that wasn't quite ripe. To check for ripeness, select the most full looking ears and split the shucks from the top and visually inspect the kernels. They need to be plump and fully colored yellow in the case of Horizon.
    I'm pretty sure your potatoes are naturally dying back. You can carefully dig down and look for a few taters without hurting anything. It's good fun and why not eat some now. They will however be smaller. When you're sure your vines are dying, I would cut back on the water as per Steve Solomon. I stopped watering completely on mine on July 1st. The YG's looked just fine when I harvested them a couple weeks ago. I got 16 pounds out of an 8-foot row. The Kennebecs are still in the ground, I'm leaving them much longer in the hopes that they'll be denser, thicker-skinned, and longer storing.
    By the way, some things I've been reading reminded me of you. In Eliot Coleman's book "New Organic Grower" he talks about the importance of high quality seeds because *sometimes* your window of opportunity to plant is too short to allow for any failure. And Charles Wilber in "How to Grow World Record Tomatoes" writes "I have generally found that you get the best seed in commercial-grade supplies. Junk seed often goes to the package trade."
    I wouldn't necessarily recommend either of these books for the kind of gardening we do but there's always good information nonetheless.

  3. I bet there is nothing better then corn boiled seconds after picking. I have been picking up corn on the cob from produce stands, it has been really good this year.

    I was to lazy one night to take the pot of water outside to boil on the side burner so I just husked the corn, put it in tin foil, sprinkled a little water on it and sealed it up. Then I placed it on the warming rake in the grill, closed the lid and when dinner was done the corn was perfect. Who said laziness was a bad thing!

    Your potatoes are looking a lot like mine, some yellowing leaves and falling over. I wish mine would just die, they are flopping everywhere. I am actually debating weather next year I am going to grow suds at all. I'm not sure if I will produce enough to make it worth while taking up a 1/4 of the whole garden. Maybe I will give one of your potato bins a try if yours turns out well. They don't take up much room and if the plants flops at least it is not on what is beside it.

  4. Love the pink tassles! Does that mean that the corn will be pink? I heard that the corn is ready for picking when the tassels turn brown (kind of dead looking). I didn't make it that far with mine though so I really don't know.
    As far as the potatoes go, I heard that you can harvest new potatoes (baby ones) when the flowers appear and then when the flowers die it indicates that the potatoes are large enough to be considered mature. Again, I didn't make it that far since I didn't plant any this year. Dang it! Why didn't I plant any potatoes?????????????

  5. I'm jealous of all that corn - it looks terrific. Good luck with your potatoes - they don't look so bad to me but hey I'm a novice gardener and haven't even thought of growing potatoes yet.