Tag Archives: squash bugs

Corn Patch, The Next Phase

August 1, 2014

2013 Corn

I tried to plant a 3-sister’s garden with corn, pumpkin, and pole beans.

You are supposed to plant the corn first. Then, when the corn is 4 inches tall, you are to plant the beans and squash.box 2I let the corn get too tall so none of the pumpkin produced and only a few beans climbed the corn. Raccoons got into the corn – ate most of it, in fact.full image fallen stalkdeer corn rippedcorn The only corn that was untouched were the ones with beans climbing up them.

2014 Corn

So this year, I tried again. Being 8mo pregnant at corn planting time, I knew there was a good chance I would be unable to plant the beans and squash when the corn reached 4 inches tall so I just planted all of the corn, beans, and squash at the same time.

I planted twice as many seeds as needed because you never know what germination is going to be. I learned my lesson. Only one seed per hole next time. I would rather have spotty germination, which has never been an issue, than a crowded spot that gets less sun and therefore produces poorly.

Because everything was planted at the same time, the beans shaded out the corn. I had to pull some beans later in order to give some of the corn a chance.

_DSC9579Nieto Family - June 13 14 - 0073Eventually, the beans did what I planned for them to do._DSC3277 There was one mishap in which a bean vine choked a corn cob but it only happened to one of them so it was not a big deal.DSC_4831Most of the squash was decimated by squash bugs. Nieto Family - June 18 14 - 0002Only one spaghetti squash survived (barely) and one butternut squash is still going strong. _DSC6120The cucumber plants did well. I have always grown cucumbers up a trellis with not much luck. This year, I planted them in the shade of the corn and sunflowers and they have done so well! Yay! 🙂_DSC6123 The point of the squash is to suppress weeds. Weeds are not much of an issue with a Back to Eden garden and the squash kind of just got in the way. I may just do beans and corn next year.

When it came time to pollinate, we had a huge storm (a couple, actually). Most of the pollen was blown away. Subsequently, most ears are not pollinated on the bottom of the ear, many have spotty pollination, and some are not pollinated at all. Also, most of the stalks fell. Most of those righted themselves but about 1/6? remained fallen.

We were picking and eating the corn as needed until the other night…Raccoons. Who needs to worry about climbing stalks when they’re laying on the ground?! They got about 8-10 ears. Sad 😦 So we went ahead and ripped up all of the corn and beans. The beans were just to deter the raccoons. I left the butternut squash and cucumber plants. Everything else was ripped up, cleaned up and chicken compost was raked in.

2015 Corn

  1. Plant ONE seed/hole.
  2. Plant dry beans (pinto/black) with corn, so as to not waste seeds (both can be harvested at the same time).
  3. Maybe forgo planting squash?

Fall Garden:

  1. I ripped up all of the corn and beans and the kids hauled it to the chickens. (butternut squash plant and cucumber plants were left)
  2. I spread compost over the whole patch (two bucketfuls) and raked it in.
  3. I marked off (with sticks) a square in the middle of the patch (6’x7′) to plant carrots & beets.

DSC_5035 4.  I placed carrot seed mats (per the late, great Granny) down and covered them with compost lightly so they would not blow away. DSC_5037 5.  I planted peas on the border of half of the patch (2 ft all the way around). I will plant the rest of the border of the patch in a week or so in order to space out the pea harvest this fall.DSC_5038 6.  I covered all of the seeds completely with compost, tamped them down… DSC_5036 7.  and covered with mulch. I covered the carrots lightly, to just hold in moisture. The peas could be covered a bit more heavily. DSC_5077I will plant the second half of the corn patch with more peas and carrots and beets in a week or so. My thought is that I will be able to harvest the peas easily all the way around as two feet is not a far reach and the root crops will be ready to be harvested by the time the peas are ready to be ripped out. Hopefully it works out — I’ll let you know! 😀


Harvest Monday

July 28, 2014

  • Fruit production has really slowed down these days. I think this may be the last week of blueberries. We may have gotten 2 quarts this week, total.DSC_4824 DSC_4859 We harvested some strawberries but again, production is slowing.DSC_4806 DSC_4830
  • Our raspberry plants are not producing any fruits.
  • I planted cantaloupe seeds right at the base of the sunflower circles so they are not growing very quickly at all. The sunflowers are 10 feet tall or taller now and are great shade producers!
  • The watermelon seems to be doing well. We rushed into harvesting one this week and were sourly disappointed :\ I learned my lesson!

DSC_4845On the other hand, non-fruit harvests are picking up!We harvested our first corn this week! They are quite large.DSC_4808 DSC_4809I planted heirloom and some hybrid. Can you guess which is which? 😉DSC_4810 DSC_4840We were able to harvest more in the middle of the week.DSC_4839(Along with some cucumbers)

We harvested the last of our spring carrots this week 😦 Need.to.plant.MORE.DSC_4783Other harvests from the beginning of the week…DSC_4859Beans DSC_4807Kale DSC_4838 DSC_4782LOTS of zucchini DSC_4822 DSC_4860Tomatoes DSC_4887and Peppers…(Bounty from the earlier part of the week)

At the end of the week, we were able to harvest more zucchini, cucumbers, beans, corn, tomatoes, and spaghetti squash. We also harvested some marigolds for the chickens.Nieto Family - July 26 14 - 0062 Nieto Family - July 26 14 - 0060Nieto Family - July 26 14 - 0155(It may look just about the same but other than a few zucchini and a few cucumbers, this is ALL new produce! I am having to ‘counter-ripen’ most of my tomatoes because of all the rain we’re getting. They’re all splitting and if I leave them on the vine to ripen, they completely burst open!)

The squash bugs had overtaken the spaghetti squash patch so I decided to just rip it up. We had 10 squashes that were ripe enough to harvest.Nieto Family - July 26 14 - 0061 They will cure on the counter for about a week before I put them in the basement to store.

What are you harvesting? Head on over to Daphne’s Dandelions to see what other gardeners are harvesting around the world.

Mid-June Garden Update

June 19, 2014

A little update about what’s going on mid-June in the garden (Zone 7b, Piedmont, North Carolina)…

The beans are flowering nicelyNieto Family - June 08 14 - 0457(black beans) Nieto Family - June 08 14 - 0459(pinto beans)

And beans are starting to show up!Nieto Family - June 18 14 - 0506(pinto beans) Nieto Family - June 18 14 - 0007(snaps/green beans)

We are expecting a good crop of blueberries this year! Check out all of those (unripened) berries!!!Nieto Family - June 08 14 - 0474 We were actually able to eat our first ones this week. We are excited for more to follow.

Blue Potatoes are flowering…Nieto Family - June 08 14 - 0401

Our first tomatoes are forming!!! Nieto Family - June 08 14 - 0433(Early Girl Tomatoes – beginning of the week)Nieto Family - June 12 14 - 0068(Early Girl Tomatoes – later in the week)Nieto Family - June 12 14 - 0070(Roma) Nieto Family - June 12 14 - 0072(Black Krim)Nieto Family - June 18 14 - 0500(Indigo Rose) Nieto Family - June 18 14 - 0502(Mr. Stripey)

Other fruits are forming:Nieto Family - June 18 14 - 0504

(spaghetti squash)Nieto Family - June 18 14 - 0505

(cucumber – I found a bigger one later but didn’t have my camera…)

Even though I pick squash bugs, eggs, and nymphs every morning, a few plants have succumbed already 😦Nieto Family - June 18 14 - 0001(zucchini) Nieto Family - June 18 14 - 0002(butternut squash — I think)

The sweet potato patch has, indeed, grown many more slips! I will plant these out within the next couple of days. I have read sweet potatoes need 4 months of heat. Our first frost is mid-October so I don’t want to plant out any later than mid-June. I will be interested to see how the later planted sweet potatoes do compared to the earlier planted ones.Nieto Family - June 18 14 - 0499Sunflowers are starting to bloom 🙂Nieto Family - June 18 14 - 0496(forgive the blurriness…I was holding a baby, trying to zoom in, focus, & take the picture) Nieto Family - June 18 14 - 0498

We had a few good soaking rains last week. The corn seems to have grown overnight!Nieto Family - June 13 14 - 0073(The tallest of the stalks are 4.5 feet tall!)

And lastly, here are our 12 week-old chicks! We think the white one is a rooster (comb is larger/redder)…Nieto Family - June 08 14 - 0500More chicks are due tomorrow!

How is your garden coming along?

Check out other helpful gardening posts at Green Thumb Thursday 🙂