I don’t know where the saying “knee high by the fourth of July” came from in regards to corn, but I’d be worried if we arrived at this point of summer and my corn was still just knee high.
But no worries here! My new-to-me corn variety, ‘Spring Treat’ is way taller than “knee high” and is tasseling now.
I think the whole crop will net me about three ears of corn, based on seeing where there are silks now.
The big question, of course, is if there is enough corn here to ensure good pollination to get ears to form. I hope so! I planted the whole packet of seeds, which was enough for two four-foot long rows, and it has been windy this past week, so that should help, since corn is wind pollinated.
Some gardeners might do a quick ROI analysis on this crop and wonder if it is worth it for three ears of corn. Well, yes, it is worth it to me, to enjoy the sweetest sweet corn I can find. Plus these seeds were sent to me free from Botanical Interests, so my only investment is the space they are taking in the garden and a little bit of time to sow the seeds.
According to the information on the seed packet, this corn should be ready two weeks before most other sweet corn. Last summer, I picked sweet corn on August 9th, so based on that, I should hopefully be picking this corn in a few more weeks. I’ll need to be watchful, though, because last summer the raccoons found my corn on August 11th, and that was the end of it for me.
Corn is a member of the
Gramineae Poaceae plant family. (I can’t believe they changed the name of this plant family since I first learned about it decades ago. Those botanists, it seems, like to change things up a bit.) Anyway, the Poaceae family includes not only corn (Zea mays), but also rice, oats, sorghum, sugarcane, wheat, and rye. What would our diets be like without this plant family?
Bamboo is also in this family. Please don’t plant bamboo in your garden unless you get the clumping kind. Don’t convince yourself you can control it. You can’t! And if you don’t heed my warning, don’t whine about your bamboo troubles to me!
And of course, turf grasses are in the Poaceae family. I guess that means that the most prevalent plant family in my garden is Poaceae. That’s probably always going to be the case, but I did give a big boost to the Liliaceae family today by buying some daylilies (Hemerocallis) at the local daylily farm. More on that in a later post…
In the meantime, have a safe, happy, fun-filled Fourth of July, and be careful with those fireworks, especially if you have a lot of Poa sp. (bluegrass) that is starting to get dry due to lack of rain.