I Planted Ferry Morse Silver’n Gold Hybrid

I planted Ferry Morse Silver’N Gold Hybrid sweet corn this spring and I’m very disappointed at the poor germination rate. Between five and seven seeds in every planting of twenty failed to emerge. I then switched to Burpee Early Sunglow Hybrid, which is what I’ve always planted before, and have gotten 99% and 100% germination on the first two plantings. The first planting of Silver’N Gold have grown 8′ tall, which is a waste of time and energy in a small garden, and half of them have failed to yield a corn ear. Some of them have three tassels and no cobs. Sounds like hybridization gone horribly wrong. The Early Sunglow always produce two ears per stalk and don’t get over six feet tall. I don’t want corn stalks, I want ears, so I will not be planting Silver’N Gold again. I’ll make a note in my garden journal 🙂

If your tomato plants seem reluctant to ripening the tomatoes this time of year, cutting back on their water can usually convince them that it is not an endless summer. My two Early Girl plants are four feet tall and three feet in diameter so I should have taken action two weeks ago. We spend the first half of their lives supplying them with copious quantities of water, fertilizer and mulch in order to grow the largest, healthiest plants we can, and then we have to stress them out to make them ripen tomatoes as early in the season as possible. All my mollycoddling has allowed them to grow a vast, widespread system of roots that prohibits me from effectively diminishing their water. An alternate method of getting them to ripen the tomatoes is to cut some of their roots. Last year I jumped on a shovel about a foot from the base of the plant and it sunk in to the hilt. I was going to repeat this around the base every foot or so but instead I held on to the handle and leaned back a bit. I heard lots of roots popping so I decided to wait and not cut more. The plant didn’t wilt but it did start ripening the tomatoes. From then on every time I walked past it I would give it a little shake. Just a friendly reminder not to grow the roots back, but keep ripening fruit.

I’m surprised at how much more dried the garlic that I cured in the barn loft is than the ones cured in the garden. I didn’t consider the humidity factor. The barn loft is as dry as a desert but the garden is constantly generating moisture. The air flow is optimal in the garden but not even required in the loft. My garden drying table is in the shade, next to the pathway that leads from the gate to my chair, so I see them every time I pass. I don’t know why but I enjoy seeing them. I used to hang them in the barn, but I would make sure they were next to where I would be walking on the ground floor, not in the loft where I would never see them. Drying onions will be up next and the same principles apply to them. I think I get reminded of our pioneer forefathers and their need to make it through the winter. Nostalgia is not always based on reality. They had it extremely tough and simple mistakes could cost them their lives.

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