Category Archive: Growing Tips

May 25 2016

Sweet Corn: Why You Should Ignore the Seed Packet

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In a traditional farm setting, sweet corn is planted in rows three feet apart with plants every 8-12 inches. This spacing is designed to accommodate mammoth harvesting equipment. However three foot spacing is implausible in a home garden. The male and female parts of a corn plant are in completely different places (see diagram left). Wind is necessary …

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May 25 2016

May 15th Update: New Gate & Sod Cutting the Old Fashioned Way

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Last year I had huge germination problems with sweet corn. After sowing countless seeds of Ambrosia and Bodacious in the loose, friable soil I’d established at the remote garden and getting virtually no result, I tried planting some in the recently tilled hardpan Carolina clay. I waited with skepticism and was shocked to see every …

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Apr 28 2016

Seed Starting Mix — When Leftovers Go Really Really Wrong!

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Well I’m officially behind on getting ready for my gardening season here in the Piedmont of South Carolina. After 2 years co-gardening at a friend’s house down the road, we’ve gone our separate ways and I am now starting from scratch in my own smaller yard. I’ve built three 4×16 beds with 2′ walkway all …

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Apr 28 2016

Parsnips: Just Add Water

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The instructions on the seed package for most carrots and parsnips are deceptively simple. Scatter seeds (or barely bury a seed tape impregnated with seeds) and “keep soil moist for several days”. What these instructions omit is that the seed must be kept lightly damp for several hours for it to break dormancy and consider …

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