Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Fall Garden

My summer garden is about done. I just finished my second crop of sweet corn. Again, I've never grown better corn, and yes, I'm still sold on Miracle Corn, my new variety of choice. The corn's flavor is superb, large ears, and matures in about 70 days. The corn grows only about 6ft tall, thus resists lodging during strong winds. And it pollinates very successfully, even on the edges of the crop. I'm also sold on placing a couple of drops of vegetable oil on the silk, shortly after it appears--this prevents worms and bugs from entering the ear of corn. It is 100% successful, if applied in a timely manner. The result? perfect ears of corn with no worms or bugs.

I currently have tomatoes, green beans, beets, carrots, and spinach in my garden. We ate our first green beans yesterday, are enjoying a late tomato crop, and have harvested some spinach. The beans were planted July 18th, the spinach and beans were planted on August 10th. I should have beets ready later in October. Other falls crops can also be planted; broccoli, lettuce, cabbage, and other cool weather crops.

I have applied a load of manure on the greater part of the, now unused, garden soil, and tilled it in. I will also till in large quantities of leaves as soon as they come down. Fall is the time to prepare the garden for spring planting. You took a lot out of your garden, you need to put a lot back. Manure, leaves, compost, sawdust, any biodegradable material should be tilled into your garden.

I tend not to want to pay for the manure I put in my garden, so I ask around and find horse owners, or other folks with animals, and ask if I can relieve them of some of their manure (they are always anxious to get rid of some of that stuff). Some with tractors and loaders will even load my truck for me, so all I have to do is empty the truck and place it in my garden. Chicken and Turkey manure is too hot for the garden, but if mixed with other material (leaves, sawdust, etc) it becomes a great garden fertilizer. I prefer horse manure, it isn't too hot (nitrogen content), and horse owners tend to buy the best hay, with few weeds, so I "import" fewer weeds than with cow manure.

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