Sunday, August 2, 2009

Mid-Summer Report

The Miracle Corn I planted in May was a huge success. It was easily the best corn crop I've ever grown. I really liked the variety, large stalks, large leaves, not too tall (6 ft), two large ears per stalk, full rows of kernels, great flavor.

You'll notice in this picture there are no worms. I treat the newly emerged silk with two drops of vegetable oil, which prevents worms and other bugs from entering the growing ears. This is an easy, non-pesticide method that works 100%.

This crop is finished, but I have a fall crop of Miracle Corn on the way.

I have never had success growing watermelon, but thought I'd give it another try in Toquerville. I planted Crimson Sweet, and this melon was the first one I harvested, about 20 lbs, the flavor was very good, juicy, and I'll probably grow watermelon again, although I think I'll try the seedless variety next year.

I harvested my Sweet Spanish onions, had an excellent crop, with nice medium sized onions. I'm not satisfied with my drying methods yet. I have tried laying them on the ground, in the shade. This worked pretty well, but you have to keep turning and moving the onions until the tops are completely dried. I have tried tying the leaves together over a line, in the shade. This worked pretty well too, but they would sometimes fall down, or blow down if there was a strong wind, and squirrels or animals would take them. This year I tried pulling them and just leaving them on the ground (dry ground). This worked ok for some of the onions, but too high a percentage "cooked" and were spoiled by the sun.

We have been eating cantaloupes for a month. I plant only Ambrosia cantaloupes, by far the best flavor of any cantaloupe, but they have a very short shelf life (which is why you won't find them in any grocery store). The cantaloupes are not as large this year, as last, but still of normal size and excellent flavor. Curly Top killed about a third of my cantaloupe plants.

Summer Squash
My zucchini, crookneck and spaghetti squash all produced well. The curly top took both my zucchini plants, and both my crookneck plants, but I replanted both and have not been without summer squash yet. Quality has been excellent.

Curly Top killed my one pumpkin plant, but we still got three pumpkins off it before it was gone.

The Curly Top eventually got to all my potato plants, but I still got a fair harvest, the potatoes just did not get as large as they should. The red potatoes did much better than the white "gold" variety. We've been enjoying the potatoes, and the flavor is very good, potatoes are just small.

Toquer Squash
I have a Toquer Squash vine growing in my garden that has become very large, spreading far and wide (I was warned it would do this). It contains several large, maturing bell shaped squash, and does not appear to be affected by Curly Top. When mature, this squash weighs 20-30 pounds. I got these seeds from my neighbor who grows the squash also. I'm impressed with the sweetness and flavor of this squash, plus it being a winter squash, should store well for some time.

Curly Top
Curly Top has damaged my tomatoes, potatoes, spinach, squash, pumpkin, cantaloupe, crenshaw melons, pumpkin, and cucumbers. Harris Seed is sending me a sample bottle of "GreenCure" which is effective against all blights (Curly Top is a blight), but they don't guarantee it. I am going to try it next spring. I am unwilling to give into the widespread damage of Curly Top. If anyone has experience with "GreenCure," I'd love to hear about it.

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