Rocky Mountain Gardening
Posted on June 4, 2011 by arkessentials
It is now the 4th of June as of this writing and my corn has yet to come up. I should be happy though. Most people around here haven’t even gotten any of their cool weather stuff in let alone corn.
If corn is going to have any chance at fully maturing here in the rocky mountains It has to be planted as early as possible. We live in a nice little valley here in Eastern Idaho elevation 5200 feet. The wind comes through here every night blowing away any warm air that may have accumulated during the day. We have had several frosts and very cool and extremely wet weather since I planted a sweet corn hybrid variety of corn called Sugar Buns. I know you are supposed to wait until after all danger of frost before planting but if I did that then I wouldn’t plant corn at all. Last summer we had snow and a couple of good frosts right up until the last part of June and another good frost in July and then again in mid August. It’s not usually that bad, it must have something to do with global warming.
Anyhow I did mange to get my peas, several varieties of lettuce, some spinach, beets that haven’t come up, carrots that are struggling and probably need to be replanted and onions in. I have to replant some things sometimes around here because of the extreme conditions. It will be really cold one minute and then the sun comes out and in our thin mountain air and bakes the ground the next minute making it difficult for the little baby seedlings to push through the soil. It helps to either not water the ground at all or keep it watered all the time until the babies push through.
When planting corn I go ahead at the very first window of opportunity and plant knowing full well that snow storms or hard freezes are probably coming. I had good luck with Spring Treats a couple of years ago, if I find it again I’ll give it another try. Last year I planted a small batch in the middle of May when the weather warmed for a couple of days. The corn popped up fairly quickly and then we got hit with snow and cold wet weather and the corn survived and was actually really good. I wasn’t able to plant the rest of my warm weather stuff, squash, beans, tomatoes, more corn, until late June and none of it did any good at all. In fact I planted tomatoes twice and they got killed off both times.
Like I said last year was a tough year. Usually our last frost is around the 15th of June and our first frost is about the last week in August. I know that sounds a little challenging but we do manage to grow a nice productive garden, if you like peas, onions, carrots and of course potatoes, lots of potatoes. Run over an elk that invariably has some kind of death wish once in awhile and a body can eat pretty good around here.