Monday, July 30, 2018

Getting it Right!

Most times I get called out to home gardens there’s usually a problem that has the home gardener stumped and we need to find out what’s going wrong. I was a little surprised at the visit I took to Ms. Rosie Harris’s garden this past week, there was absolutely no problem, as a matter of fact she was getting it right when it comes to vegetable gardening.

But, she was a little perplexed at how tall her field corn had got, and wondered if she had bought the wrong variety or maybe over applied fertilizer. She had not purchased the wrong variety, nor had she over applied fertilizer. She stated to me “I’ve been gardening my whole life, and never saw corn get this tall”. I assured her, this is not a strange thing, the tallest corn ever recorded was actually a sweet corn variety grown in Allegany, New York and measured 35 feet 3 inches.

So, yes some corn varieties will routinely grow 12 to 14 feet. While talking to Ms. Harris, I discovered not only can she grow really tall corn, but she was successfully growing other vegetables in the rest of her garden. So, I ask how she came about such a fine crop this year? She stated, “I always rotate my crops every year, and make sure I’ve applied enough lime”. I also noticed, she had her rows, and plants within the rows at a perfect spacing, so plants could reach their mature size without being over crowded. Lastly, the garden didn’t have a weed problem, so it was obvious, time, and care was applied to the garden along with the right cultural practices.

One of the most rewarding aspects of working with Extension, is meeting people that love growing vegetables, raising animals, or just share the appreciation of the outdoors. I especially appreciate folks like Ms. Rosie that not only share this love, but also appreciates, getting it right.

Submitted By: Jim McAdory, MSU Extension Agent, Winston County (ANR)