Saturday, October 5, 2019

gardens 2019: sweet corn

I always try to write a single post reviewing the year's gardens,
but it soon becomes long and unwieldy.
So this year I'm going to try writing about individual "crops."
It will be helpful to me when I'm planning the 2020 garden adventure.

First up: sweet corn!

I grew miniature corn this year.
I didn't plant miniature corn, but that's what I grew.

'Bon Jour' Early Bicolor Corn
organic seed purchased from Renee's Garden Seeds

In the Spring we had unusually hot days and unusually cold nights, so the soil was slow to warm. Corn cannot germinate well until the soil is very warm - some say 65-70F - so I held off planting as long as I dared. But because corn also needs a long season, I finally had to cross my fingers and plant, along with the pole beans which I wanted to grow along with the corn.

Even though I waited until June 22nd to plant, the corn germination was much lower than expected, which was later reflected in the incomplete pollination of the ears. The stalks grew to 5 or 6 feet, and eventually, tiny ears appeared. For a couple of weeks in September it was a treat to pick 3 or 4 little ears every couple of days, and microwave them for a quick lunch.

The ears in the picture above were the very last, and are being rationed out to the hens as a treat. They really enjoy corn on the cob! And as I pull up the stalks - the ones that aren't still entwined with pole beans - I dole them out to the goats. Everyone likes variety in their menu.

Does anyone have recommendations for a sweet corn variety that might do well for me next year? If I have room, I'll plant a larger patch. Or maybe I'll grow popcorn again, like I did in 2016. (I only "remember" the year because I searched the blog for it!) Homegrown popcorn was a fun treat in the middle of winter.