Monday, June 26, 2006

Knee High by the 4th of July

I heard that saying countless times while growing up. It relates to the height of the corn and its likelihood of getting a corn crop at the end of the summer. . . in Iowa. I am sure they have the same saying in other states.

Here are some facts; The 4th of July is next week. The approximate measurement of the distance from the ground to my knee is 19 inches. The corn is this high . . . At a stretch, it is 9 inches and that is the tall one! A very poor showing by Iowa standards. I thought that perhaps the bit of warm weather we had a short while ago would have helped. I guess we need MORE sun and MORE heat. Think we'll get it? I think I am going to have to sew this corn much earlier in the greenhouse. I've used a super early variety (name escapes me for the moment).
Here is another plant that isn't showing much promise. I bought it at the new garden centre outside Carlisle. The new garden centre is pretty, has lots of parking but it seems to be more of a lifestyle shop with plants than a proper garden centre. This place is not where you would go to find a bargain either.

I bought the above plant at the new garden centre and it was labelled pumpkin. It now looks like it is actually a courgette (zucchini). If it was a pumpkin, I'd be trying to manage the vines at this point. I wanted a pumpkin but I'm okay with a courgette. We can eat that. I was thinking about planting them when I was planning this year's stuff but skipped it in the end. Two years ago I bought a packet of courgette seeds and planted up three little pots with two seeds per pot. The object was to cull the weaker of the seedlings after the seeds germinated. The hitch with this plan was that I had to kill off a little seedling. In the end, I planted up six courgette plants. Towards the end of July, The Man of the Place held up his fork during dinner and stated that this (this being a chunk of courgette at the end of his fork) was the last bite of courgette he was going to be eating. After that, I thought I'd give courgettes a miss for a couple of years.

This is the other worrying thing in the garden this morning. A critter hole! If whatever dug this hole stays there until harvest time, it will be most conveniently placed to eat a large portion of the runner bean harvest. It is most likely a field vole. The place is crawling with them. Wouldn't it be nice if Flossy (see previous post) started going after the voles rather than stalking the birds?

I am also noticing a worrying amount of weed at the end of that bean row. Now that it is not raining today, I can tackle that. Grass will get mowed too.


J-Funk said...

As a fellow Iowa gal, I must concur - that corn looks WEAK!

I hope the greenhouse helps. I would be sad to not be able to grow corn in such a wonderful garden.

Gran said...

As I recall, the way our old landlord steve west used to say how to measure the corn for this particular saying is to stand next to the plant, then gently pull up the longest/tallest leaf so it's straight up. where it hits on your leg, that's your measurement. just offhand, I'd say yours would be knee high, and it ain't even july 4 yet. you're in a northern zone, though, and you can't expect your corn to look as glamorous as the stuff in iowa, which is kinda like a greenhouse humidity & temperaturewise.

the corn in maryland and southern pennsylvania this past weekend looked dang good. easily knee high.

Gran said...

i just returned from dubuque and galena (illinois) this past weekend, and j-funk is oh, so right. compared with iowa corn, your corn looks WEAK!. the corn in iowa this past weekend would be easily over your head and very lush. no wonder they have a song about it: "ioway, ioway, that's where the tall corn grows!" better believe it!