I plan to use the corn stalks as a heavy mulch in a new area we want to turn into another herb bed. In years past, I have pulled up the corn stalks and piled them right outside the garden. This time, instead of stacking them on the ground, then loading them up to go somewhere else, I decided to load them directly into the back of the pickup. When I finish mowing the grass and weeds down in the area for the new bed, I can just drive by and unload these directly onto the bed. Well, that is the plan anyway.
Here is our corn harvest for the year, minus the half dozen ears we have already eaten. There are quite a few small, irregular ears that I will give to the chickens. Our young hens that are about five weeks old, have really taken to eating the scraps and comfrey leaves I bring them, so I hope they enjoy these small ears of corn. My plan is to cut the corn from the cob and can it. We tend to eat more corn from the can than from the cob, and this will also give us another learning experience since we haven't canned corn before.
I have almost finished digging the potatoes. Once the potatoes are out this area, I will till this space, along with the adjoining old beet and onion beds for some of our fall crops. The area the corn was growing in will be used as well. With that in mind, and the time growing short, at Frank's recommendation, I planted most of my fall crops in tubs on the porch a couple of days ago. The only thing I didn't plant like this are the turnips, which are Purple Top White Globes. I will direct seed them.
The things I have planted in the tubs are:
- Dr. Jaeger's Cantaloupe - 85 days
- Autumn King Carrots - 70 days
- Earliana Cabbage - 57 days
- Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach - 45-50 days
- Long Island Improved Brussel Sprouts - 100 days
- Cushaw Green Striped Winter Squash - 110 days
- Bucklunch Sugar Beet - 110 days
- Mammoth Long Red Mangel Beets - 110 days
Our first average frost date here is October 31st which is 102 days from the time I planted these seeds. The cantaloupe and winter squash vines cannot tolerate a frost.
If we have an early frost I may be able to save some of these plants with frost cloth, so I will plant them in the same area. The beets, carrots and spinach can tolerate a mild frost, so they should be fine.
The cabbage and brussel sprouts will be happier once it cools off and can take a hard frost, so I'm curious how they will do.
Gardening is an ever changing outdoor 'school house' where I never quit learning. The possibilities are endless and can reach as far as your knowledge and imagination can take you. Grow something. Anything. It never ceases to amaze me that I can take one small, tiny seed and watch it grow into something truly amazing. Something that can feed and sustain me. I am in awe.
Until next time - Fern