Saturday, October 10, 2009

2009 gardening year in review, part 2

if it werent for tomatoes, i would garden for corn. garden nirvana is achieved with perfectly vine ripened tomatoes and corn, picked at the peak of sweetness.

this years corn variety was burpee's sugar pearl - purchased at capitol nursery. its a white sugar enhanced hybrid. i planted the 4x10 bed with seed that was pre-soaked the evening before. i have found a significant improvement in germination rate when i pre-soak corn seeds.

in the past, i planted silver queen corn - mainly because my grandpa did. he had good success and i did too, however, one draw back to silver queen, was its long maturity date of 92 days. cruising through the burpee catalog, i was pleased to see sugar pearl matures in 72 days - nearly a month earlier.

germination was very good. like silver queen, most ears on sugar pearl were on the small side. most stalks produced 2 ears.

the sweetness and flavor was incredible. in spite the short ears - about 1/2 the length of a normal ear of corn. this variety has definitely earned a spot in the garden every year. in fact by request, my family has asked that we have 2 beds of corn next year - so thats what i will do!

one thing i failed to remember in '09 and will have to do in '10 - and that is to stagger my plantings. this year the entire bed matured on the same day. next year i hope to separate seed plantings by 2 weeks so i will have ~4-6 successive harvests; scattered across a month or so. this corn also has good holding qualities in the refrigerator, very important if you get too much corn at one time!

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