Our 2021 garden: corn, gourds, squash and melon transplants DONE!!

Yes!!!!! We managed to finish transplanting tonight!

I thought we might have to move beyond the squash tunnel, but since these will be trained to climb, we were able to plant them closer together than we normally would, and they all fit. Also, I was sure we had the little pumpkins to transplant. I was wrong. None of them germinated. We didn’t plant many to begin with, but I’d hoped to have at least one!

At the far end of the squash tunnel, we have 4 luffa vines on one side, and 3 dancing gourd on the other. Next to them are the two varieties of winter squash, and the two varieties of melon.

There are a lot more melons than anything else (I REALLY love melon!), and that’s even with several cups that never germinated. There are some cups with summer squash in them that never germinated, either, which is why we have only 15 transplants. We all really love summer squash, so we would have enjoyed more, but it’s still a bit more than we had last year.

Now that the squash tunnel’s transplants are in, they, and the summer squash, will be getting a mulch of straw as soon as we are able to get back to it. Then I’ve got to get those bottom cross pieces in, so we can attach the mesh for them to climb.

That done, it was time to finish the new corn block. I’d put a fairly deep layer of grass clippings down, first, so I wanted to put a fairly deep layer of soil. Plus, the garden soil tested high in nitrogen, which corn uses a lot of, so I wanted to make sure it had at least that for the transplants to start in.

After the soil was in place, I made a trench in each row to plant into, then thoroughly watered the trench with water from the rain barrel.

Doing the actual transplanting was rather cringe worthy. I keep hearing from others that corn doesn’t handle being transplanted well, their roots don’t like to be disturbed, and so on. At the same time, I have heard from zone 3 gardeners that only start corn from transplants and never had an issue. Still, I really would have loved for the toilet paper tube plan to have worked. I don’t know of anyone who has tried to grow Montana Morado in Canada, never mind in our province, nor can I find anything online about it, so this is all completely experimental.

The biggest, healthiest looking corn plants tended to be the ones were all 4 seeds in the cups germinated. Except for when they were taken outside to be hardened off, the cups with their drainage holes were all in a bin that had water on the bottom, so they could take up water from below. Which means that there were strong roots at the bottom of the cups, and with anything more than 2 plants in a cup, that meant having to tear the roots apart to separate them.

I am really, really hoping they survived this.

They are, however, all in! I even managed to get some in the little half row I wasn’t sure if I’d be using. I went ahead and planted the little ones, too. Considering they tended to be a single plant per cup, they might actually end up doing better!

Also, the flash makes it look darker than it actually was. I did still have enough light to see what I was doing.

After they were transplanted, I gave them a gentle watering with the hose. It was amusing to see a flashlight coming through the increasing darkness. My daughters hadn’t realized I’d stayed out to finish transplanting the corn, and one of them came out to check on me. 😀 Which was handy, because that meant I had help putting things away. The washing of the cups and trays, however, will wait until tomorrow!

The only thing left to do with the corn is put a mulch in the paths between the rows. More to keep the new soil in place while watering than anything else.

Now that this is done, the girls and I can head into the city tomorrow, and I won’t be angsting over getting the transplants in the whole time we’re out! 😀

I’m tired and in a world of hurt – and really, really appreciating having my husband’s bath chair to use in the shower! – but I am very happy. 🙂

The Re-Farmer

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