Our 2022 garden: first corn!

I just had to start out with this bit of gardening excitement.

When checking the plants in the sun room this morning, I spotted our very first Kulli corn seeds germinating!

When I took the picture, I could only see a couple in this larger bin in the plant shelf. After uploading the photo, I spotted several more and … oh! I just spotted one more that I missed when putting the arrows in! It’s two pots to the left of the single arrow in the middle.

These are in the smaller bin that recently got moved to the platform we made over the swing bench, at the west facing window.

I am just so thrilled! For the new folks who just started following this blog (welcome! I’m happy to see you!), Kulli is a Peruvian purple-black corn, also called maiz morado, that I’m trying to grow in our zone. I thought I was trying them last year, but the information from where I bought them kept changing, and it turned out they were developed for cold hardiness in the US, but were not actually acclimated Kulli corn, as I originally thought. I found some Kulli seeds at Mary’s Heirloom Seeds, in Texas. They are supposed to be good both as a fresh eating corn, and as a flour corn. They are also used to make a drink called chicha morado, and as a dye. I have not been able to learn much about their native growing conditions, since Peru is so mountainous, and it’s hard to compare to our Canadian growing zones. This is why I am starting them indoors – not typically recommended for corn – to transplant. Plus, they take 120 days to maturity. Our growing season, from last frost in the spring to first frost in the fall, averages 100 days.

This is a pet project of mine, in that I would like to acclimate the variety to our growing zone (if that’s even needed). These will be kept well away from other varieties of corn. Starting them indoors also means they will pollinate earlier than the other varieties we’ll be growing this year. Between those two factors, there should be no cross pollination.

We’ll have to take extra care when transplanting these, to protect them from the critters.

I saw my first ground hog running around, when I did my rounds this morning. I also saw a racoon in the kibble house about a week ago and, of course, the deer area always around. I’m not sure which critter destroyed our black corn last year, that had been doing so well.

Must protect the corn babies! 🙂

The Re-Farmer

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