21 March 2009

It's Spring (Temporarily)

I managed to get half my garden cleared out yesterday afternoon: cornstalks pulled out and stacked, weed mat pulled up and stakes gathered into a pot, semi-whole weed mat placed over the irritating weedy grass patch near the gate, and black raspberry branches planted. Yes, planted. They'd sprouted roots over the winter after being cut from the main plant, so I put them by the back fence. I may dig up their parent plant, as it is determined to be a climber, and that's just not a good place for a climber.

I've also nearly finished digging the grass out of the bulb patch. And the bulbs that I wasn't sure of have turned out to be hyacinth. For some reason, I had thought the daffodils were the hyacinth, but the big buds started becoming visible, and they had the many-flowered-heads of hyacinth, which, by process of elimination, meant that the somewhat grassy leaves were the daffodils.

Tonight, a cold front is due to move in, bringing with it rain and/or snow... I'm hoping it will be decent enough for me to finish cleaning out the garden and get the peas planted this week. I'm not sure if I'm going to plant corn this year. It takes up a lot of room, plus I keep getting that nasty fungus in it (huitlacoche aka corn smut). Yes, some consider it a delicacy. I consider it just plain nasty.

ADDENDUM: I just found some useful information on controlling corn smut. The two bits of advice most relevant to me are below:

Planting tolerant cultivars is the best control. Cultivars that show improved resistance over two years of testing in the Columbia Basin include: 'Elite', 'Chase', 'Conquest', 'Eliminator', 'Diva', and 'Marvel'.


Plant before May 15th.

The varieties that I've been planting are actually listed as some of the most susceptible to the fungus: jubilee and any corn that matures early. Corn that matures later is, for whatever reason, less susceptible. At any rate, if I can find some of the resistant varieties, I may try planting some and see what happens.

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