May sound a little strange talking about fall tomatoes right now but it’s something you should consider. If you’re planting heirloom varieties that take 90-120 days to produce before the first frost then those seeds need to be started soon. That would also apply to peppers.
Got a little break in all the rain we've been getting so the sweet corn and peas got planted. Using the new Hoss Seeder with seed plate #4 we got it done. Planted the seeds ¾ - 1 inch deep at a spacing of 4 ½ inches. Spacing is just right for the peas but too close for the sweet corn so I’ll have to thin it with a hoe once it comes up. Ideally I like the corn to be approx. 12 inches apart. Incredible is a great tasting sweet corn that holds up well in the freezer. Will be the first time trying the Zipper Cream Peas so I’m really looking forward to those.
Update on the Zipper Cream Peas: Tried the first mess of Zipper Cream peas and I love em. They are not as earthy as the Purple Hull and taste more like Great Northern white beans. Taylor Mfg. suggests picking peas today and shelling tomorrow, I strongly advise doing so, they'll shell a lot easier.
Because of work schedules we harvested the sweet corn on Saturday July 4th which was 19 days after seeing the first silk. Some was ready but most could have waited until Tuesday which would have been 22 days after seeing the first silk. The few harvested on Tuesday had much bigger and sweeter kernels.
The coons and squirrels found the corn about a week before it was ready to break. They destroyed the first of three rows and some of the second. If I wanted to stop them I would have had to stay out there day and night with a big stick. Next year I may plant corn just for them and maybe they’ll leave mine alone. LOL
If someone tells you there is no need to side-dress your sweet corn then I'd tell em to come take a look at the photo above. About a week and a half before this photo was taken I started side-dressing with 20-20-20 fertilizer. I completed two rows then it started pouring down rain and was unable to do the row on the right. You can easily tell by the color, height and the development of the ears that side-dressing does indeed make a big difference. It's recommended doing so at 12" and 36 inches tall using Calcium Nitrate (15-15-15) at 2 lbs. per 100 ft. of row or approx 1.5 lbs. of 20-20-20 per 100 ft. of row. I like using the water soluble fertilizer to side-dress because there is no need to incorporate it into the soil, it soaks right in.
Granular fertilizer is ideal for pre-plant applications. Before making the last pass with your tiller through the garden in the spring or fall, broadcast your fertilizer at the rate shown here, How much Fertilizer. Immediately after spreading the fertilizer till the garden again to incorporate it into the soil. Make your rows and plant. Most folks don’t plant their entire garden at the same time so I would suggest only fertilizing that part of the garden you plan on planting now.
There are only two groups of vegetables that don’t require side-dressing, beans / peas and sweet potatoes, everything else requires added nutrients during the season. If you’re side-dressing with a granular fertilizer you’ll have to incorporate it into the soil. If not done carefully you stand the chance of damaging the root system. Here’s when a water soluble fertilizer such as Calcium Nitrate or Peter’s 20-20-20 comes in. Mix the desired amount in your water can or tank and apply near the base of the plants. The water soluble fertilizer will soak in and there’s no need to incorporate it. With the ease of application you can divide the rate and make multiple applications until you reach the recommended amounts, feeding your plants over a longer period. Multiple applications is a little more work but well worth a try.
Hoss Tools has introduced its standalone seeder/planter for the vegetable garden. Like the seeder attachment for the Wheel Hoe this planter is engineered to handle both large and small seeds. Hoss has added a larger drive wheel and rolling coulters to its design. Included seed plants can handle everything from mustard seed to sweet corn. Blank seed plates are available and can be easily customized for your unique needs. With a suggested retail price of $299 this one will be hard to beat. Visit Hoss Tools for more info.
Summer Straight Neck Squash. I find these are best pick when smaller than a soda can. Cut up in half inch slices, boiled in seasoned water then adding butter is the way I like em. Since I'm the only one who eats em here, one plant at a time is pleny. Right before they start blooming I'll start another. This can be done all summer long.
Decided to let a few of these "Candy" Onions grow until the tops not only fell over but turned brown before harvesting. One of these is plenty to make several rice and gravies. Two heaping 5 gal. buckets was enough to put up 9 one gal. zip lock bags of chopped onions for the freezer.
Smaller model 640 pea sheller
Dimensions: 19" L x 9" W x 9" H
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