Corn’s Up – I Was Surprised

Corn’s up. I was surprised. It came up in seven days, which is the earliest noted on the seed packet. I think that having the plastic a foot above the ground allowed more air to get warmed, which heated the soil more than having the plastic laying on the ground. We’ve had overcast and rainy days since I planted and I began to think I was premature. I will pull back a corner of the plastic on sunny days to vent the plot, and put it back on at night to retain the heat. Same goes for the beans. The flat of squash and melons has needed venting already. It’s very easy to cook them, as both I and my son have discovered :). They are already big enough that I will have to separate them into two flats for them to get full light and air circulation. They are competing for light now, and trying to kill their neighbors :). It’s interesting that when they get older they will warn nearby plants of impending danger, but as young plants they throw shade on their competitors to disadvantage them. It looks like they actually lean over the smaller ones.

I could swear my spinach got taller last night after I fish emulsioned them yesterday. What a geek I am. I’m always looking for significant changes that validate my efforts. In reality all plants look taller in the morning because they are fully hydrated. I like to think that I’m crafting healthy plants when in reality I’m just not interfering with nature’s processes. Plants are in a constant state of wilt between waterings, but it’s so slight that we hardly notice it. They have trained me to water them by the way they can perk up in a half hour. I feel rewarded at my gardening acumen, but they laugh at me for being such a sissy. Their natural cycle includes wilting during the day, to preserve moisture, and re-hydrating during the night. My need for creativity makes me involve myself in their success and take credit for it. My need for purpose has me altering their environment by weeding out their competition, fertilizing them, mulching their perimeter, and watering them even when they don’t need it :).

I spent WAY too much time weeding a small two foot square area of Bermuda grass yesterday. I went on line to find alternatives to hand weeding and was rewarded with three options. Solarizing in the hot summer months should only take four weeks so that’s my plan for now. Occulting is said to only take four weeks too, but I have my doubts. Occulting requires laying down weed barrier and applying four inches of heavy mulch like wood chips. I would be loath to ever remove that much mulch. I guess the mistake I made with my occulting of the tomato and zucchini plants was that I didn’t force the emerging stems to stay on the ground where they could get attacked by decomposers. I only held down the perimeter with boards and the center was pushed up by the struggling weeds. The area that I used Round Up on looks like it has died. It took two applications, ten days apart, so it’s the quickest method. Spot treating small areas remains in my bag of tricks.

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