Sweet Corn Update, June 2014

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I cultivated between the rows on June 16th.  The soil was quite dry.  We received five inches of rain over the following four days.  I snapped these photos the morning of June 20th.

Now the corn is too tall for mechanical cultivation, so we are left with hand weeding.  We’ve been doing some of that, especially around my garden area.  That’s the beautiful thing with organic production, I can plant other crops amongst the corn and not worry about the herbicide killing them.

The bottom photo shows where I ran out of corn for a couple of rows.  Instead of panicking, I planted pole beans and squash and pumpkin in the empty rows.  Since this picture was taken, I weeded and mulched and put up a fence for the pole beans to climb on and it’s looking pretty good.

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I have mixed feelings about the weed control.  On the plus side, I definitely think I controlled the weeds enough that the corn yield will not be limited.  Research shows that much of a corn’s yield potential is determined at a very small size, (around four leaves I think).

But I can see a lot of weeds coming now.  I wonder if I let them escape and go to seed will the weed pressure continually worsen?  Maybe I have let too many weeds go to seed in the past?

I can see the allure of using herbicide to achieve a “clean” field.  It’s just that I can also see that there is no such thing as “clean”.  Life is messy!

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