Saturday, June 8, 2013

cornfield and greenhouse updates

Yesterday was a nice day for working outside and I was able to get a few more rows in the cornfield.  Today rain is predicted for this evening and we have had a couple spits and sputters during the day but not a measurable amount.  It has been cloudy which has helped to keep the greenhouse from overheating.  The greens are bolting and going to seed so they are about done.  I am trying to get the transplants in the garden as quickly as possible.  It will be nice to be able to shut down the fan, clean up the potting equipment and empty and store the water containers.  I think I will use the water to moisten the nearby compost piles.  Rain is predicted for tonight and if we don't get too much I hope to get the rest of the transplants in the ground tomorrow.  If we do get rain then it will hopefully be Monday or Tuesday.  Mostly there is just the Amish paste tomatoes left along with a few other miscellaneous things.  The majority has gotten in the past few days.

The cornfield is a long rectangle that runs 40 feet from north to south and 125 feet from east to west.  it is divided into a northern 20x125 foot part that will be for sweet corn.  This year we have two varieties of corn left over from last year to use up and that will fill up most of the space but beginning next year half of that space will be corn and the other half will be vine crops like pumpkins, melons and squashes.  These two crops will rotate between the east side and the west side of this space.  Our corn will be in 20 foot rows that run north and south.  This year we planted 40 seeds per row and our rows have 2 feet between them.  If this spacing works well next year we should be able to have 1000 corn plants in the space allotted for corn.  So far we have planted 18 rows of our Johnny's corn.  We also have some Dekalb corn that was shared with us by a friend and that will go on the other end.  That is yet to be planted.  There are some melons planted next to the Johnny's which will provide a buffer between the two varieties.

The south half of the garden will be gradually established for permanent raised rows.  The raised rows will be 18 inches wide and 20 feet long with 24 inch walkways between them.  So far I have built 7 raised rows and hope to get a few more done this spring and more yet done this fall as the crops come out.  I am using grass clippings to mulch the walkways.  So far with the grass growing like crazy, there have been clippings to use.  I have also been gifted some grass clippings so thanks Lisa and Grant.  I appreciate both of your donations. 

I started building the raised rows at the east end.  This is what i have in the ground so far:

Row 1:  Empty-will likely be bush beans from seeds.
Row 2: Sweet potatoes
Row 3: Big beef tomatoes- 16 plants
Row 4: Sweet potatoes
Row 5: Second planting of pototoes
Row 6: Second planting of potatoes
Row 7: First planting of potatoes
Row 8: First planting of potatoes
Row: 9 First planting of potatoes
Row 10: Cherry tomatoes- 8 plants
Row 11: Cherry tomatoes- 9 plants
Row 12: Pole type beans
Row 13: Cucumbers- lemon cucumbers on one side, three different Johnny's on the other
Row 14: Brandywine tomatoes- 9 plants
Row 15: Brandywine tomatoes -10 plants

Currently rows 3, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14 and 15 are raised rows.  Rows 16 and 17 will be the Amish Paste tomatoes and they will be raised rows.  There is about a 25 foot wide section where rows 16 and 17 will go and I am hoping to make the rest of that into raised rows and have later plantings either from seed or more transplants.  If I start the transplants soon they might be up by the time I am ready for them.

Beginning on the west end of the south portion I have planted hills of pumpkins and winter and summer squashes and then some rows of vine crops.

So far:
12 hills of acorn squash
4 hills of yellow summer squash
10 hills of pumpkins
7 hills of butternut squash
5 hills of zucchini
4 dill plants
1 row of Halona Cantaloupe 9 plants
I row of butternut squash 9 plants
1 row of Maverick Muskmelons 10 plants
1 row of Vine Peach Cantaloupe 8 plants.
the last row contains 4 mystery plants (forgot to write down what seeds were planted) and 1 hill of a cantaloupe, variety uncertain.

The melon patch between the two corn varieties has:

4 hills of Maverick muskmelons
3 hills of yellow watermelon- Lisa's saved seeds
4 hills of Vine Peach cantaloupe
3 hills of red watermelon
1 row of red watermelon- 13 plants

What is left to do:
Build raised rows for the Amish pastes and get them in the ground.
Plant the rest of the sweet corn.
plant a few more seeds or start transplants.

Update:  Found my sticky and the mystery plants are yellow watermelons.  Yea! Thinking the cantaloupe in the same row is a Halona.  will have to check it out when the the fruit comes.

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