Earlier last month I planted my front garden in vegetables, with beets, carrots, radishes and lettuce growing like crazy, and the cucumbers not coming up yet at all (might have been too cold, I'm not sure). The plants, being cold weather plants, are growing wild and free, with plenty of each plant getting their second leaves. It's been wet enough with all the rain and snow we have had of late that I have only had to water a couple of times. Other than that, they are growing quite well on their own.
Well, a couple of weeks ago I planted my corn, pumpkin, and some melons. The corn was Bloody Butcher dent corn, which has a beautiful deep red kernel, and some red broom corn, which is actually a sorghum instead of a maize variety. I purchased both off of eBay, which shipped in plastic bags.
After I ordered them and put them up in storage for the spring (I ordered them in the Fall), I found out that plastic bags can kill the seed with static electricity. Anxious, I still planted them and hoped for the best. That's why I planted them this month, so if they didn't grow I would have enough time to purchase some new seed and plant it for this season.
Well, A week went by with no change in the ground. Some weeds have been growing, but that was about it. Nothing more substantial than that. I was concerned, worried, and anxious that I may have planted bad seed. I decided that I would give it another week and see if there was any change.
Well, on Wednesday I was watering the back garden, and sure enough I spotted about 5 little shoots of corn in the same general area. Not a lot, but I was excited to see that all the seed was not dead and I would have at least enough corn growing this year to have seed for next year. That may mean that I wouldn't be able to make parched corn as I had planned, but I was just excited that my red heirloom corn was growing at all.
Then I checked the garden yesterday after I got home from work: And I have about 14 shoots! Yes, my little corn patch is starting to grow. It's still a long way off from producing (between 60 to 70 days), but at least I know that I will have the stalks. As soon as the pumpkins come up (which should be any day now), I can place some mulch around the plants to protect them, give them heat, and slowly leach nutrients into the soil. Also, once the little plants are well established, I'm going to plant some pole beans next to each corn stalk.
So that is the garden so far. On May 9th at Rowland Hall Lower School (720 South Guardsman Way, SLC), Wasatch Community Gardens is holding a sale for various starter plants, which my wife and I will probably be attending. They have over 42 different heirloom tomatoes, with several heirloom peppers, melons, squash, pumpkins, and cucumbers available. The vegetable plants are $2.00 each, with a buy 10 get the 11th free. They also have various perennials available from trees and grasses to flowers and berries. The perennials are $7.00 to $10.00 each.
I want to be sure I have some lemon cucumbers growing if my cucumbers don't sprout here soon, so I'll probably pick up a couple there with some other pickling cucumbers. Then I'll pick up at least three varieties of tomatoes, though I'm still not sure which I want. I definitely want the Cherokee Purple, which is said to have came across the plains in the Trail of Tears, and I think I want to get the Hawaiian Pineapple for color, the Black from Tula, and either the Amish Paste or 1884. And finally, I think I'll pick up a Black Plum, because it keeps its sweetness even when dried. Sounds like a good sun-dried tomato variety to me, and it's a deep purple!
So if you are in the Salt Lake area next weekend, I would encourage you to attend. Parking may be a bit of a problem in the area, though there is a University parking lot nearby, and it's free parking on Saturdays (no permit required). The easiest way to get to Guardsman Way is to come East on 4th South and pass Rice-Eccles Stadium and turn Right at the light past the stadium, or come up 8th South and take the first Left past East High School's football field.
So that's the news from the Garden this week! Next week I'll see if I can't give some more details about the sale, and any plants we picked up. Then as the vegetables get harvested, I'll let you know how my dehydration for food storage project works. ^_^