Boy -- that sure was fast. I never expected the end of the 2010-2011 football season to come in early September -- but when the 49ers and Raiders turn in the kind of "El Stinko" type of performances that both squads turned in yesterday -- well -- it begs the following question:
When does basketball/baseball/hockey/tiddlywinks season start again?
Whatever the answer is -- it can't be soon enough. There's nothing like putting off an entire's day worth of work in the garden to watch something so horrible that will make you regret putting off an entire day's worth of work in the garden.
Jeez! I could have planted my lawn by now!
|Total Crop Failure!|
As I was staring at the complete crop failure that is my corn this Monday morning -- it reminded me that I hadn't seen anything quite this bad or demoralizing since -- well -- yesterday's Seahawks-49ers opener. And then -- it hit me: my corn failed as badly on me this season as Alex Smith failed the San Francisco 49ers.
There's no way around it. There's no hiding the disaster. It's right in front for everyone to see: a complete and utter failure. My 2010 summer corn crop and the latest reincarnation of Alex Smith.
I will say this much however: last year -- I had a great crop of corn -- a wonderful harvest that I blogged about here. So -- at least I can say that I had ONE good year under my belt.
As for Alex Smith -- well -- no....
To be brutally honest though -- I'm not sure what exactly what went wrong with the Bird corn crop this year. However -- I can tell you that we're not alone. A lot of other gardeners reported the same garden lament to me this season: total and complete corn crop failure.
The seeds for this year's crop of Golden Cross Bantam came from Lockhart Seed in Stockton. I knew -- from last year's experience -- that seeds from different varieties should not be planted close together (they will cross-pollinate and you'll get all sorts of weird and wacky combinations). We used a bed located close to a bed that was used for last year's successful corn plantings -- after amending it -- of course.
Venus and I planted seed for the first two rows in Mid-April. We planted a third and fourth row some three weeks later in early May. The fifth and sixth rows were planted two weeks later -- after other seeds had germinated and jumped out of the ground.
Everything looked A-OK at first. Sure -- the weather wasn't cooperating all that much. Sure -- it was cold. And yes -- that cold weather would have an effect on the other crops like tomatoes -- melons and squash.
But it didn't result in outright failures either.
|Purple-Colored Corn Stalks|
Nope -- the first sign that something wasn't quite right in Dodge was when I noticed this purple coloring showing up in some of the first rows that we had planted. It seemed a little strange -- yes -- but then again -- we were also experimenting with a new variety. Perhaps this is the way it should look?
But -- as the growing season moved forward -- I began to notice signs that something just wasn't right. Normally strong corn stalks were rather thin and wispy. Developing tassels weren't growing far beyond the weakened stalks. Worse yet -- the purple color I had noticed near the bottom of the stalks was slowly moving up the plant.
Soon -- it would overtake the entire row.
The end result? Venus and I managed to grow a lot of corn cobbettes rather than actual cobs. They didn't taste very good either -- and the harvest just wasnt worth our time. Additionally -- the later rows that we had planted were not doing as well as we had expected. They were stunted in growth. They seemed to be lacking in something.
Now -- to be fair and honest -- I'm not the only Natomas gardener to suffer a complete corn crop failure this season. Others had the same type of problem. They didn't plant as much as Venus and I had -- but they all had similar problems: purplish coloring on the stalks -- weakened stalks -- and little to no corn production.
In other words -- we weren't alone. Misery loves company.
So -- what went wrong? I'm not sure. I know it wasn't a lack of fertilizer or water. Our crops received regular fertilization and were on the same drip system that our successful corn crop utilized last season. Other crops planted nearby -- such as squash and tomatoes -- exhibited much better production.
Could it have been the unseasonable cool weather? That is a possibility. Corn -- like a lot of other summer crops -- needs sustained summer heat to do well. We didn't get a whole lot of that this season.
So -- in retrospect -- it could have been a lot of things. It could have been a combination of different factors.
As for me? I'm blaming my crop failure on Alex Smith.