getting corny

Ok. I think I may be a little over my head. Its already been almost a week since my last post…. I thought I’d be able to keep up on writing these things, but the kid takes up most of my time! Aren’t newborns supposed to sleep all day?? So this actually happened a few weeks back…

It’s May long weekend (ha!), which marks the unofficial commencement of the gardening season in BC. So, we decided to get out there and plant out our corn. We chose to plant it in what we call our “sewer” garden. (It’s not as gross as it sounds- it’s right beside the house, and part of the septic tank lies underneath.)

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We like to keep plastic on this garden during the winter. It keeps the rains from washing away all the good stuff in the soil. And, it’s magically weed-free when you pull it off!

We chose this spot because corn is a super heavy feeder; it depletes the soil like no body’s business! Next year we plan on demo-ing this garden, and turning it into our herb garden. Picture this: raised boxed in beds with perennial herbs that we wont have to do too much to to keep it managed. Yay! Less work in the long run! But for now, we’re going to let the corn do its thing, and rob this soil of its nutrients…

This is how we planted these out:

First, we got all our supplies ready and headed over to the garden.

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This photo is a little unnecessary. But, SOMEONE wanted to show off his new quad trailer! (post on how we built this coming soon…. just joking…)

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I like to start my corn in trays to sprout in the greenhouse. You get a little jump on it, and can possibly eat your corn earlier in the season. I chose two varieties this year: peaches & cream (my favourite!), and sugar buns. (I really only wanted peaches & cream, but the garden centre only had one pack left. So I opted for the sugar buns which is a good freezing corn. We will eat the peaches & cream fresh.)

We removed the plastic, and spread out our homemade complete organic fertilizer. (post on how to make this coming soon! or maybe not so soon…)

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Normally for corn we would also spread out some compost or finished manure at this point to replenish the soil before the corn depletes it, but like I said, we are destroying this garden next year…

Next, we broadfork everything. (A little about the broadfork: its an invaluable tool that small farms use instead of a rototiller, a.k.a. the broke-ass version of a rototiller. Its efficient for a farmer to use for up to one acre of land. After that, you should have enough $ for a proper rototiller! And, it also does quite a number on your abs, butt, and thighs!)

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The farmer getting in shape. Yes please!

Then, after we shovel out our paths, and put the extra dirt on the beds, we start to lay out our corn starts in a dice formation with the 5’s showing.

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Does this make sense?

Corn is wind pollinated, and needs to be planted out in blocks. Basically the wind blows the pollen off of the flowers on the top of the plant, with the hopes of it landing on the silks of the budding corn cobs.

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Corn should be planted 8-10″ apart in the row. I like to use my trusty tape measure….

After its all laid out, I simply plant each corn start.

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Later we also wove a soaker hose in and around all the corn for irrigation. (And why, oh why, did I wear brown-on-brown?)

TA DA! That’s it….

Oh but wait! One of the corn starts came completely out of the dirt. And I thought it was interesting to see how the seed actually germinates and the plant comes out.

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total nerd. i know.

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One thought on “getting corny

  1. i love this blog nat… now i can follow along how you are doing everything and not drive you insane with the same questions over and over!

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