Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Ready for Corn!

I wanted everyone to see how hard I have been working - two major project these last two weeks and one was getting the area for corn ready.  It would have been easier if  I didn't also have to protect the rows from a toddler that likes to tromp through rows of dirt and an evil cat.

This was the area I had for corn.  Doesn't look like much, does it?  When I bought the house, this was all barkdust and rock, on top of black plastic, which was on top of more barkdust, more plastic, more barkdust and more plastic.  Three layers!  We found this out last year when we set the raised beds.  We had to rake back the barkdust, cut away the plastic, rake, cut, rake, cut - you get the idea.  I wanted to make sure I had some drainage at least.  In the year since getting rid of the plastic - well, most of it anyway, grass, weeds, etc took over.  I had several cubic yards of soil dumped in the front to finish the bean raised beds, and planned on using the rest for the corn.  And so I started pulling grass and weeds.

This was the first row of corn planted.  I needed to get it in as soon as possible.  so this was done about the first weekend in May.  I had some scrap pieces of row cover I had saved for this area - good thing too, as we have had rain and rain and some hail storms since planting the corn.

I had a wonderful four-day break from work, courtesy of my job (an unpaid furlough day), a weekend, and one day of vacation.  I took that time to finish ( between rain showers) the corn area, plant another row of corn with my granddaughters help, and build a gate - to keep her in.  She is not too happy about the gate.

Along the green plastic fence we will be planting sunflowers.  And I have two more areas for corn.  Once the corn is 4 inches high, I will be planting another variety of pole bean.  this will add nitrogen to the soil and help stabilize the corn - we get a lot of westerly winds in this area.  Soon I will also plant winter acorn squash - the large leaves on the vines will help keep the weeds down ( which are nutritional competition for the corn - a heavy feeder.  The hay in the rows also will help keep weeds down ( after all, I did all that work to get rid of them) and will also add nutrients as a mulch.  This trinity of corn, squash and beans is following a centuries old practice that first nation people used - this continents first organic farmers.  I can't plant anymore until I have a way to cover what I plant ( because of granddaughter and evil cat) - so have to wait till payday!  It is supposed to rain for the next week anyway, so that gives me some time ( to weed the beds by the grape area).

Sorry to throw three postings at you all at once - I am done for now!  If you want more info, just let me know.  I have had several requests from friends and am working on getting those answers to them - but probably not till mid-June sometime.


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