Saturday, May 18, 2024

Garden notes

The highlight of the day is that Quicksilver helped me plant corn yesterday.

I was out in the corn patch. I grow two kinds of corn: sweet corn and "field corn". The field corn is a mongrel swarm of various heirloom varieties with a strong bias toward white kernels. In polite company I tell people it is "Ornamental Corn" which is accurate. The ears are beautiful. But my intention is to have a strain of open pollinated maize that makes good corn meal for use in muffins, cornbread johnny-cakes, mush and whiskey.

Mrs ERJ and Quicksilver popped into the corn patch while I was planting the second-to-the-last row and QS wanted to help. I handed her each kernel and pointed where in the furrow it had to go. She planted about 15 kernels and then was ready to do something else. She is a couple of weeks short of her second birthday.

I made a mistake in an earlier post. I said I was planting some Hickory Cane and Neals Paymaster corn this year. In looking through my seeds, I must have called an audible while ordering because I didn't have Hickory Cane (130 days to maturity) but I had Wapsie Valley Dent (85 days to maturity). 

The WVD kernels were plump and full. It was good looking corn. The NP corn kernels were much smaller and looked like an anorexic fashion model...skinny. The reason that is important in a corn intended for human consumption is that large, plump kernels have a favorable digestible-to-bran ratio. I will grow the NP corn this year but will discard it if continues to have small kernels under my growing conditions.

I know it is bragging, but she was very happy picking raspberries last summer. The canes were almost thornless and the weight of the fruit pulled the canes down so the fruit was at eye-level for her. She has not mastered the art of placing the fruit anywhere except in her mouth...but that will come.

It is dry out there!

I am not too sure that the kernels will have enough moisture to germinate. I may have to water them.

I dragged out hose and set up my impulse sprinklers but first I fertilized the potato patch and the apple root-stock and I watered them to dissolve the fertilizer and to carry it down to where the roots can access it.

Today will start out with more hose being positioned and (probably) watering the corn patch.

Swimming pool

I got the swimming pool out and put six inches of water in it. It is 48" in diameter and one of us is in attendance when Quicksilver is using it. Quicksilver enjoyed the pool. We pulled her out after fifteen minutes to avoid sunburn.

By then she had 4 doses of the Amoxicillin suspension (the pink stuff) and was better but still not 100%.


I have been dragging my feet about downloading an app to resize pictures on my Apple SE. Consequently, you aren't getting many pictures. Maybe I will get motivated. Maybe I won't.

Today is shaping up to be a long day of physical work.


  1. ERJ, I tried to garden with Na Clann when they were younger. The were older than Quicksliver when I started and I do not know that it stuck there - except that they do all enjoy plants of some kind to this day. So maybe some influences.

    1. Ha! "I tried to garden with Na Clann"... I'm not a gardener but would like to be one. Trying to decipher "Na Clann", um, sodium something...must be some patented growth further.. Oh. Ha, silly me. THB, I'm sure you were a positive influence.

    2. I think it is Celtic or Welsh. TB is a fellow blogger and bloggers have to walk that fine line of protecting their children's privacy and sharing events that might enrich the lives of readers...or help them shield their children from evils.

      Many bloggers give our children "handles". For instance, I have Southern Belle, Pelé, Belladonna and Kubota who make occasional appearances in the blog.

    3. Robert - Indeed, as ERJ writes Na Clann ("The Children" in Gaelic, from whence we get our English word "clan"), is the term I use when speaking about my children. I refer to them individually as Nighen Gheal, Nighen Bhan, and Nighean Dhonn.

  2. I live in the desert and it's so wet here that I'm not bothering with the sprinkler system. The safe brush and other stuff is still incredibly green, which hopefully means few fires this year.

  3. ERJ - how do you set out your corn/sweetcorn? We've always been advised to plant in blocks not rows so as to get good wind-blown fertilization.

    1. Will: my tequila-infused 2 cents is if you plant a sufficient number of rows, you DO have blocks of a certain dimension.

  4. Most "modern" corn doesn't produce huge amounts of pollen. Pollen is mostly protein and protein is nitrogen and nitrogen costs money. Also, large tassels intercept sunlight and theoretically reduce photosynthesis potential.

    All of the "old" varieties of corn I have grown have splendid, Carmen Miranda hat-like tassels that were very attractive to I presume they were LOADED with pollen. That makes sense because some American Indians planted corn in hills 8 feet apart in both directions where-as modern farmers plant them about every two-square-feet.

    The sweetcorn is planted in rows 38" apart and each planting involves 11 rows of nine-seeds planted 10" apart (total length of 8'). There will be three more plantings, each planting extending the rows by an additional 8'

    1. By golly, I love how ERJ comments are so educational! I always assumed plant breeders were aiming for more more more of everything.

  5. Corn. I have G90 funk, bodacious , and silver queen planted

  6. I don't have the room for sweet corn, but I recollect that when my dad planted his, he coated the seeds in some foul-smelling blackish liquid first. I suspect it was to make the seeds unpalatable to groundhogs and crows, but I have no idea what it was. It reminded me of creosote, which I know he used on fenceposts in the grape arbor to keep them from rotting out too quickly.

  7. Try using anti seize on all the threaded connecters.
    I don't have near as many problems with the hoses anymore


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