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The Garden Chronicles - Week 19

  
By:  Dig  •  Gardening  •  2 years ago  •  12 comments

The Garden Chronicles - Week 19

It's been a busy couple of weeks. The corn got harvested in three pickings, each two days apart, and in it's place three rows of fall peas went in. I also dug a trench where some of the corn was standing and buried the stalks, after tying a dozen or so of them into shocks for Halloween decorations later on.

The weather hasn't been too bad. The rain stopped again, but temps have mostly been topping out in the mid to upper 80's. A cool, dry air mass is supposed to start blowing in tomorrow, so it looks like I'm about to enjoy a really beautiful week with low humidity. I can't wait. I love a mild August. As long as it doesn't portend an early frost, that is.

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The first corn picking - August 5th.

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Beautiful. Not all of them were this clean, though. Plenty of them had earworms at the top.

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78 ears shucked and cleaned.

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The second picking, two days later.

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61 ears shucked and cleaned.

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Some tomatoes, cukes, and a pepper from the same day.

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More cukes from the next day.

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The third and final picking, four days after the first.

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45 ears shucked and cleaned.

Also, when I cleared the corn stalks away I found an additional 8 ears that I'd missed.

Tally:

Pre-pick samples - 13

First picking - 78

Second picking - 61

Third picking - 45

Found while clearing stalks - 8

Total - 205

My yearly bare minimum goal is 150, so even with all the plants I lost this year I still made my goal and then some. If I hadn't lost so many plants early on I might well have had another hundred ears. It went in late, but it turned out to be a great year for corn.

If anyone liked what they saw, the variety was "Gotta Have It" from Gurney's.

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Cooked and rolled in butter. Hard to beat.

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Here's the trench I dug for the stalk disposal. I started doing this about 6 years ago. I got tired of throwing away all of that perfectly good organic matter, and it's an opportunity to clear out rocks as well. Two birds with one stone.

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Here's what lurks a few inches below tiller depth.

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More of them. One of these years I might have the entire garden cleared of rocks down to at least two shovel depths.

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Rocks cleared and corn stalks in. They have 7 1/2 months to decompose before the first tilling of next year's garden. It's worked every year so far. I haven't tilled any up in the spring yet.

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Does anyone know what kind of mushroom this is? I tried to identify it online, but I couldn't find anything that looked quite like it. It's about 6 inches across.

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Here's another one growing about 2 feet away. This one's about 5 inches across.

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This morning at sunrise. The Sun is moving southward along the horizon as the season advances. At the equinox it should be almost dead center on the garden.

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Not so crowded without the corn.

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Three rows of low-trellised peas on the right. I only had enough boards for one trellis, so I guess I'm doing another experiment and the other two trellises are the control group. The variety is Maestro, which only needs about 30 inches of support. The stakes are in, but the trellises aren't on them yet. The seed is leftover from 2 years ago, so I don't know how well it'll do. I really hope it all comes up. I'm running out of time. The buried corn is on the far left. I'm going to put some spinach on top of it this week, and a row of kohlrabi between it and the peas.

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A few peas are just starting to come up under the boards, but I'm not seeing anything in the uncovered rows yet. Another win for the boards.

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The Rutgers tomatoes, with Touchon carrots coming up next to them.

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Touchon is an old French heirloom variety. I kind of like it.

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Two kinds of fall beets on the left, Detroit Dark Red and Bull's Blood, and those are the Silky Sweet Hybrid turnips on the right. I only had boards over half of these rows when I planted, but it was cool and mild that week, so it didn't seem to make much of a difference. They all germinated about the same, protected from the sun or not.

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Here's the Bull's Blood beets that can't really be seen above. Red, red, red.

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More fall/winter carrots. The bigger half-row is Touchon (started under boards back in June, if anyone remembers), and the new ones are Burpee's A#1 Hybrid.

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The A#1 Hybrid seedlings.

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Lettuce. I really need to get some more of it out here and in the ground.

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Finally, some decent bean germination. I still can't believe the time I had with beans this year.

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The butternut squash.

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The variety is good old Waltham Butternut.

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The Big Beef tomatoes, about to outgrow their posts. I have some poles I'll tie across the top for them to drape over.

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The nearly-drowned peppers.

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They're actually producing now. Slowly, but there are several flowers out. I hope I get a decent batch eventually.

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The older cucumbers are about done now.

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A couple of new zucchini plants. The scrap 2x4's are just markers so I don't step on them.

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The rosemary is finally starting to grow. Better late than never.

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Another new zucchini.

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The watermelons. You can't really see them, but there are at least 7 in there.

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This ones probably going to get picked tomorrow.

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One of the mystery purple hot peppers in the foreground, and a regular Cal Wonder behind it.

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The third cucumber, flowering now.

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Some fall peas. Miragreen, the same variety I grew in the spring.

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More Miragreen peas, and Polly investigating something in the squash.

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The cantaloupe trellis.

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Cantaloupes.

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A couple more, one of them hanging.

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Zucchini in the side plot.

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Some new seeds under a board. Probably the last planting.

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The middle one is producing now.

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Lettuce in the starting planter.

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I kept a few chunks of chert that came out of the corn trench. I hope the larger one isn't too fractured. I'd really like to have a nice, big, solid piece of it.

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I use it for another hobby — some very amateurish flint knapping. These are some points I've made in the past out of chert from the garden and the yard.

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That's all for now.

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See you next time.

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Dig
PhD Guide
1  author  Dig    2 years ago

The single hardest thing I do in the garden every year is done — burying the corn stalks. It's all downhill and easy going from now on.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Professor Guide
1.1  Greg Jones  replied to  Dig @1    2 years ago

That's a lot of digging and rock hauling...looks like get you a lot of exercise tending your garden. And I'm impressed with the amount of food that you get out of your garden. How much do you can or freeze in an average season?

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
1.1.1  author  Dig  replied to  Greg Jones @1.1    2 years ago
looks like get you a lot of exercise tending your garden

That's one of the best parts. Gain a bit in the winter, burn it off in the summer. And it's productive exercise, too.

How much do you can or freeze in an average season?

I don't can at all, but about half the corn ends up in the deep freeze. The rest is either eaten fresh or given to nearby family members.

If the tomatoes would ever kick into high gear I'd be freezing quart bags of peeled and de-seeded tomato flesh, which can be used later for sauce or in chili. I never know how many of those I'll end up with, though.

I usually manage to get a few gallons of peas in the freezer, but that's only if the fall ones work out. Some years they don't.

On a normal year I'd have at least a dozen quarts of green beans in the freezer (one year I had over a hundred, but I swore I'd never do that again), and also a few gallon bags of blanched zucchini slices. But I'm hurting for beans this year, and if the zucchini doesn't get it together I'll be hurting for that, too.

There should be around 30 butternut squashes this year. If I get them matured correctly they'll keep in the garage all winter, stacked up in a rack with cardboard under them. Some of them will be given away.

Finally, I should have carrots in the garden for most of the winter. The climate here is such that I can just leave them in the ground. They usually keep a decent quality until late February or early March, but after that they go mushy.

Everything else is eaten fresh, given away, or thrown back into the garden.

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
2  pat wilson    2 years ago

What a great harvest. The buried cornstalks is an interesting idea. I was wondering if you have a compost pile.

I like the arrowheads you've made, have you found any in your area ?

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
2.1  author  Dig  replied to  pat wilson @2    2 years ago

No, I don't make compost. I'm no good at getting it to 'cook' right so that it's sterile. I just dump stuff in a corner, toss some dirt over it every now and then, and let it decompose normally. I'll dig that richer dirt out from time to time and use it for side dressing plants.

I haven't found any arrowheads right here around the house, but this whole area is a gold mine for them. Around the larger creeks and rivers people find campsites with artifacts galore. I'm right at the top of the local watershed and probably too far away from any year-round water sources for there to have been much long term habitation. There might be a few points out in my yard somewhere (lost while hunting, maybe), but not enough to be found easily like at old campsites, where people were making and using points and knives on a regular basis, and then discarding them when they were used up (or simply dropping and losing them accidentally).

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
2.1.1  pat wilson  replied to  Dig @2.1    2 years ago

Where I grew up in the midwest there was a farm near a river that allowed us to hunt for arrowheads and artifacts. I think it was prior to planting. We would go after a rain. I found a few arrow heads and lots of broken pieces of flint that appeared to be napped. There was an abundance of flint/chert in the area. That's why I was asking. I really enjoyed that. 

 
 
 
sandy-2021492
Professor Principal
3  sandy-2021492    2 years ago

That corn looks delicious.  How do you keep the worms out of it?  

I compost my kitchen scraps the same way you do - wherever there's nothing growing, I toss the scraps and cover them, then spread it out later.

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
3.1  author  Dig  replied to  sandy-2021492 @3    2 years ago
How do you keep the worms out of it?

I don't, but they almost always stay at the very top, and that part gets cut off. They never get to all of it, though. Some are never touched, like the one I took a picture of in my hand.

 
 
 
charger 383
Professor Quiet
4  charger 383    2 years ago

Looks like you will be eating good and have some put away.  I like the trench composting for corn stalks

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
5  Buzz of the Orient    2 years ago

The corn looks great - the kernels golden yellow and they appear to be bursting with juice.  Nothing beats corn on the cob cooked, buttered, salted and eaten the day it's picked in order to prevent the sugar from turning to starch.  Although there was better corn farther north in China, the corn here seems to be just white and hardly juicy or tasty - the kind one would feed to the pigs and cows back in Canada, where peaches and cream was a favourite - no peaches and cream corn here. 

 
 
 
Ender
Professor Principal
6  Ender    2 years ago

Aww shucks. That is quite a harvest.

When I was a kid there use to be these round mushrooms, like puff shrooms. If we stomped on one it would release a cloud.

Watermelon and cantaloupe looks great.

 
 
 
Dig
PhD Guide
6.1  author  Dig  replied to  Ender @6    2 years ago
Aww shucks. That is quite a harvest.

I see what you did there. jrSmiley_4_smiley_image.png

When I was a kid there use to be these round mushrooms, like puff shrooms. If we stomped on one it would release a cloud.

Yeah, puffballs. There's a lot of those around here, too. Even some of the giant ones.

Watermelon and cantaloupe looks great.

Thanks. I'm really looking forward to the cantaloupe, ice cold with a little salt.