Wild Men on the North Fork

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Part 2: Cauliflower to Corn

Cauliflower

A Brassica, Cauliflower produces just one head and then is done. Because of this, I would like to plant a very short season variety that I can rip out once it is harvested. This will give sunlight and room to the beets I plant with it. Cauliflower days to maturity are based upon the day of transplanting.

Links: University of Illinois Extension, North Carolina State, WHFoods, Cauliflower Recipes,

Soil: Prefers lots of humus and lots of droppings, or heavy commercial fertilizer. Soil should be firm, not loose.

Companions: Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Kale, Mustard Greens,

Germination: 93 percent when soils are 59 degrees.

Group: Brassica (Brassica oleracea [botrytis group]) Other Brassica: Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cabbage, Chinese Cabbage, Kale, Mustard Greens. Harvest before heads become over mature and 'ricey'. Tie leaves over the cauliflower to keep heads white. If heads are bitter, add a small amount of boron to your soil.

Planting: Start indoors, set plants out

Days to

Maturity

Name - Description Plant Height/Length Product
Recomend:
John 62, Stok 65, Recommend
Fremont -
WHITE - Self Wrap, Everything a cauliflower should be. Best Cauliflower we have ever eaten. Wow! Grown 2005-08. Will grow in '09. Medium Seed Potency
6 to 8 inch heads 2 to 2.5 pounds
Considering:
Farm 70, Peac 52-70, Pine 55, Snow Ball - WHITE - Self Blanching. From the Farmers Catalog: "The wrapper leaves of the Snowball Cauliflower, curl up and over the large heads so they blanch themselves! They taste great. Start indoors for an early harvest. 70 days to maturity." 5 to 7 inch heads ?
John 68, Jung 70, Park 75, Vrmt 70, Amazing - WHITE - Self Blanching/Wrapper Leaves 7 to 10 inch heads Heavy
Varieties We Rate as Failures: First White, Artica

Celery

Celery is a rather long seasoned crop for Wyoming. But it is possible to grow it here. It serves as an attractant for lady bugs. Heavy feeder of fertilizer, and needs constant water. Mulch is advisable.

Links: Texas A&M, Gardeners Net,

Soil: Prefers lots of humus and lots of droppings, or heavy commercial fertilizer. Soil should be loose.

Companions: Carrots, Lettuce

Germination: Seeds germinate 12 to 18 days from planting.

Group: Celery (Apium graveolens) We use celery as a bee attractant, and plant it in with herbs and flowers.

Planting: Start indoors, set plants out after all danger of frost is plant.

Days to

Maturity

Name - Description Plant Height/Length Product
Considering:
John 80, Stok 100, Ventura - A Utah type, 6 to 8 stalks per plant 24 to 26 inches 11 to 13 inches
Nich 115, Pine 105, Shum 85, Seed 93, Golden Self Blanching - Very early yellow-type, no strings 20 to 30 inches

Chard - Swiss Chard

My wife turned me onto chard and now I can not get enough. It is hearty and prolific. A three foot row has kept two families in chard all summer. Cut outer leaves first. Use leaves raw in salads, or cook leaves and stalks down in a little water the way you would cook spinach. Add lemon juice once cooked.

Soil: Prefers lots of humus and lots of droppings, or heavy commercial fertilizer; but will grow in any soil. Soil should be loose, sandy is fine.

Companions: Broccoli, Cabbage, Carrot, Cauliflower, Lettuce, Onion

Germination: 100 percent when soils are 41 degrees. This one loves cool soils.

Group: Beets (Beta vulgaris, [cicla group]) Other Beets: Beets. We like chard a bit more each year. Harvest leaves when 8 to 10 inches long. More leaves will grow from the center of each plant.

Planting: Direct sew only

Days to

Maturity

Name - Description Plant Height/Length
Recommend:
Burp 60, John 55, Jung 60, Pine 50, SeedsN 55, Ttom 60, Recommend
Bright Lights, [AAS Winner]
various colored stalks, though the largest number are white, Delicious. Medium Seed Potency
9 to 18 inches
Considering:
Bakr 50, Peac 70, Flamingo Pink, Medium Seed Potency 24 inches
Pine 60, Pink Lipstick, Medium Seed Potency 24 inches
John ?, Magenta Sunset, Medium Seed Potency 24 inches
Farm 55, Peac 55, Ruby Red, Medium Seed Potency 24 inches
John ?, Pine 55, Stok 60, Rhubarb, Medium Seed Potency 24 inches
Bakr 60, John ?, Oriole Orange, Medium Seed Potency 24 inches
Pine 59, Orange Fantasia, Medium Seed Potency 24 inches
Cook ?, Red Magic, Medium Seed Potency 24 inches
Park 60, El Dorado (gold), Medium Seed Potency 24 inches
Peac 55, Yellow, Medium Seed Potency 24 inches
John ?, Bright Yellow, Medium Seed Potency 24 inches

Sweet Corn

Like wheat, rice, and even bamboo, Corn is a grass. Corn was first grown, and quite extensively, by Native Americans. Generally, the shortest season corn does best in Wyoming. Avoid corn that is over 80 days to maturity, and get it in the ground as early as possible (being mindful of the last average day of frost for your area). I have observed that it is also desireable to try to get corn that grows tall and produces big ears. Big ears seem to have a lot more flavor. Taller plants keep ears far enough off the ground to deter mice and skunks. Corn likes lots of water and rich soil. It is a heavy feeder. It seems to tolerate any of the squash family nearby. It likes to be planted in square masses rather than in long thin rows. Plant just one variety of corn unless your beds are very widely separated. Mixing varieties is a bad idea.

Modern hybrid corn comes in three types:

1. Normal Hybrid, sometimes denoted by (su) behind the variety name, are easy to grow and do not need to be isolated from other corn.

2. Supersweet Hybrid, often denoted by (sh or sh2) behind the variety name, are the sweetest hybrids, and keep their sweetness for days in the refrigerator. But they do need to be isolated from other corn.

3. Sugar Enhanced Hybrid, often denoted by (se or EH) behind the variety name, are extra tender and sweet. They do not require isolation from other corn.

Some catalogs now give a degree of lattitude at (or above) which a particular corn variety will grow well. Pay attention to this information. Here is a list of Lattitudes for Wyoming:

Sheridan - 44.80 degrees, Casper - 42.87 degrees, Cheyenne - 41.14 degrees

Links: Iowa State University, University of Illinois Extension, University of Minnesota, Virginia Tech, WH Foods,

Soil: Prefers lots of humus and lots of droppings, or heavy commercial fertilizer; but will grow in any soil. Soil should be loose, sandy is fine. Corn likes good drainage.

Companions: Beans, Pole Beans, Carrots, Cucumber, Melon, Peas, Pumpkin, Squash

Germination: 97 percent when soils are 59 degrees. Corn can be sensitive about cool soils. Direct seed.

Group: Grain (Zea mays) In 2004 we burned a big pile of old dead plants in the corn patch and the fire sterilized the soil. Harvest ears when silk turns dark and ears bend away from the main stalk. Kernels should be bright, plump, and milky.

Planting: Think seriously about presoaking the seed between one and three days before sowing. Wait to sow until soil temperatures are warm.

More About Corn

Do not plant corn in single rows, or even 2 or 3 rows. Do not plant a lot of different varieties together. Here is why. Corn has male and female 'flowers' on each stalk. The males are at the top, the females are about half-way up the stalk. Modern hybrid corn likes to accept pollen only from its own specific kind. (I once planted four varieties in alternating rows...and did not get a single ear.)
Since corn is polenated either by gravity or by wind, and the shape of the corn plant just about prohibits a plant from polenating itself, corn planted in masses is best.

Burpee has just come out (2013) with a cord specifically bred for use in containers on decks and patios. The difference between this corn and other sweet corn is that its root system will tolerate warmer temperatures that occur in a container. Here is a quote from the Burpee catalog: "And now on deck … sweet corn! Ever so tasty breakthrough bicolor variety is perfectly sized - 4-5' tall - to spend the summer on your deck, patio, or terrace, adding vertical interest as well as producing two to three delicious 7-8"-long ears per stalk. This first-ever container-ready corn is a revolution—one you can enjoy from the comfort of your patio. Simply plant 9 seeds per 24" container and get ready to harvest in about 2 months! Supersweet (Sh2). Spread: 12-18 inches, Height: 4-5 feet, Thinning: 6 inches, Days to Maturity: 61-63 days, Sowing Method: Direct Sow". We will sow this corn in some of our raised beds, which are only 2 feet wide, and get plenty warm, and report on this product.

The corn in the following chart has been sorted (in order) for plant height, 75-85 days, cold soil emergence, cob size. It was our observation that really tall corn outperformed shorter corn in 2004, the eighth coldest summer in the U.S. on record.



Corn - SE, SE+, and SU
These varieties need NO isolation


Source
and
Days
Name - Description Color Plant
Height
Ear
Length
Inches
Kernel
Rows
Cold Soil Emergence
Farm 75, Feld 75, Gurn 75, Jung 75, Park 75, Vrmt 75,
Grown by us in 2009, a cold year, with great success.
Bodacious (se) Yellow 87" 8" 17 Good
Jung 74, Park 74, Vrmt 74,
Grown by Bill Simpson in 2009, a cold year, and many years before that with great success. This one is not specifically 'cold hardy'. But Bill has had great luck with it
Silver Princess (se) White 72" 7 1/2" 18 to 20 ?
Burp 72, King Kool Hybrid (se) BiColor ?" 8" ? Good
Stok 68, Temptation (se) BiColor ?" 8" 16 Good
Stok 64,
use above 41st parrallel
Fast Lane (se) BiColor ?" 8 1/2" 15 Good
Stok 69, Welcome TSW (se) Yellow 66" 8" 16 Good
Stok 65,
use above 41st parrallel
Seneca Spring (se) BiColor ?" 7 3/4" 13 Good
Gurn 68, Pine 64, Vrmt 67, Quickie (se) BiColor 54" 7 1/2" ? Good
John 66, Stok 62, Fleet (se+) BiColor 60" 7 1/2" 14 Good
John 66, Jung 67, Spring Treat (se) Yellow 60" 7 3/4" 15 Good
Burp 66, Early Choice (se) Yellow 54" 7 1/2" ? Good
Feld 65, Sugar Baby (se) Yellow 108" 8 1/2" 14 Good
John 73, Park 73, Double Standard (su) BiColor 60" 7" 13 Good
Stok 74, Whiteout (se) White 78" 8" 16 Good
Gurn 84, Pine 77, Vrmt 84, Honey and Cream (su) BiColor 72" 7" 11 Good
John 81, Jung 89, Seneca Dancer (se+) BiColor 78" 8" 18 Good
Burp 89, Feld 81, Gurn 81, Jung 85, Vrmt 83, Kandy Korn (se) Yellow 90" 8" 15 Good


Corn - SH2, SE/SH2
These varieties need isolation


Source
and
Days
Name - Description Color Plant
Height
Ear
Length
Inches
Kernel
Rows
Cold Soil Emergence
Shum 75, Radiance (sh2) BiColor ?" 8" ? Good
John 69, Stok 62, Polka (se/sh2) BiColor 66" 8" 15 Good
John 75, Vision (sh2) Yellow 81" 7 3/4" 17 Good
John 71, Jung 70, Vrmt 70, Xtra Tender 270A (sh2) BiColor 69" 8" 16 Good
John 74, Xtra Tender 272A (sh2) BiColor 63" 8" 17 Good
John 81, Jung 75, Vrmt 77, Xtra Tender 277A (sh2) BiColor 72" 7 1/2" 19 Good
John 76, Xtra Tender 374A (sh2) White 69" 7 3/4" 17 Good
John 80, Xtra Tender 378A (sh2) White 74" 8" 18 Good
John 81, Stok 78, Montauk (se/sh2) BiColor 78" 8" 18 Good
Jung 70, Xtra Sweet 4427 (sh2) BiColor 54" 8" 14 Good
Burp 67, Feld 67, Gurn 67, Vrmt 63, Northern Extra Sweet (sh2) Yellow 66" 9" 14 Good
Varieties We Rate as Failures: Early Sunglow, Golden Bantam, Polar Vee, Ambrosia, Trinity, Incredible

If the corn you planted earlier in May did not emerge, or if you are tired of trying to nurse corn through the second and third weeks of June (often much colder than the first week of June), consider planting a shorter season corn with good cold-soil emergence sometime in the last week of June. Here is a chart for that kind of planting for the Casper, Wyoming area (5,100 feet elevation, Zone 4). This chart is based on picking corn on September 10:

DATE TO PLANT: June 22 June 23 June 24 June 25 June 26 June 27 June 28 June 29 June 30
Days to Maturity for Corn

See Catalog or Package

75
74
73
72
71
70
69
68
67

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