Summer solstice

The corn is shin-high and we’ve got small tomatoes!  We’re having a relatively cool and blustery start to summer, most likely making up for 3 days of record-setting warm, clear weather over Memorial Weekend.  Thunderstorms passed, and for much of the last two weeks the weather has been cloudy, with beautiful sun breaks in the late afternoon, as southwest breezes come in.  The combination of warm soil and wind prompts near-daily watering for a few minutes.  We’ve had some chilly nights again, near 40°F, but there seems to be enough daily warmth for the tomatoes to keep growing; the squash and cukes are expanding and crawling.
The final scallop squash that was seeded 10 days after the others is still small, having missed the initial boost of heat during Memorial weekend.  It is simply waiting for some more heat to show up, which may be another week or so.

June 6-2009

The garden on Summer Solstice-2009. Where's Juniper?

Squash, cucumber, and sunflower section; young blueberries off to the right

Squash, cucumber, and sunflower section; young blueberries off to the right

Yes, as other front yard gardeners across cyberspace will attest, these conversion projects tend to bring more interaction between neighbors.  On our little cul-de-sac we’ve all tended to acknowledge each other through the years anyway, but this has noticeably increased some formerly hesitant interactions.  Every resident has given a nod of approval or a thumbs-up to the new garden, which is always appreciated, even if they chose not to be part of it.

One neighbor teased that it is all “too orderly,” to which I laughed and promised to loosen it up a bit next year.  Then ensued a discussion about how some ancient cultures used to plant corn, beans, and squash seeds in the same hole, some 3” above a buried fish head.  Come to think of it, that might be a good experiment, substituting in organic fertilizer for the fish head.  The corn supports the beans, and the squash will wind around down below.  Good idea for tight “square-foot” gardening, too.  The beans would also contribute some nitrogen into the soil once nodules formed on the roots.

From another standpoint, corn is quite an “energy hog,” requiring a lot of nitrogen fertilizer to sustain its huge stalk, leaves, and a cob of high carbohydrates, plus a good shot of phosphorus to get that cob to flesh out.  And, all this just to produce 2 ears of corn on one plant, if the weather cooperates, and earworms don’t do much damage.  But, having never had a garden spot with enough full sun to even bother with corn, I wanted to try it out, as did everyone else.  Just a few ears for each of us would be plenty.  Plus, stalks add some vertical height and interest to the landscape.  We’ll see what happens.

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