Thursday, August 14, 2014

Repairing the Damage

Staked Fennel

We had a storm come through on Wednesday. It dropped about 1.5" of rain which we sorely needed. But with the wind and rain a few things got knocked over. Nothing was all that bad except the fennel. It is blooming and setting seed right now and it has a lot of heavy blooms. In fact I can't believe all the blooms on it. But I had no stakes to prop them up with. So I first had to recover some from the corn patch.

Most of the corn in this patch has been harvested, but I hadn't cut down the finished stalks. Or removed the bamboo stakes that I put in after another storm knocked all the corn down. So I went about doing that.

Now that a lot of the plants have been removed, the squash will be happier. It was really trying to invade the paths. In fact it got away from me as it always does.

One branch went up and over my poor current bush and over the fence. After propping up the zinnias on the one side with some string and taking out the corn plants on the other. I found a lot of fruit in there. So my poor current will have to live in the shade for the rest of the year. I haven't seen a lot of the squash set, so any that have will stay.

If you remember from before I said this corn was setting two ears per stalk. That is true. But the second ear usually look like the one above or even less developed. A few have been edible but not many. The first ears are all perfect, but not these ones. So the stalks left have second ears that might do something. I'm hoping.

The wasps on the fennel were swarming around the flowers as I staked them up. There was even a white faced hornet (never fear they are very gentle hornets). I really wanted to take a photo of them, but couldn't get the silly camera to focus on them. Then a downy woodpecker landed on one of the stakes in the cleared out corn bed. He happily sat there for a while. I sort of got him in focus. I really need my husband's good camera for this. A point and shoot doesn't do focus on small things well. But this bird has been visiting every day now since the sunflower has ripened some seed. Sometimes I'll walk by the plant and not notice him (since the flowers are 8' high), but then I hear him fly off.


  1. I'm glad you didn't get the brunt of the storm like some areas did. We had lots of rain and wind. Flooding was an issue and some roads are washed out. The garden is fine though. Just a little wind blown.

  2. Well, now I have a better idea what corn should look like at this time of year! I assume those are butternut squash? They look great.

  3. Hmm, my corn is developing 2 or 3 ears per stalk, I hope they don't do what yours are doing. The number of flower heads that fennel can produce is amazing, my little patch is like a jungle now and I keep cutting it back. But one of the wasps that is attracted to it is not so gentle, beautiful but ferocious, the Tarantula Hawk has one of the most painful stings known, I watch but keep my distance.

  4. Oooooh, that little woodpecker is so cute and he is not afraid of you, that's a big plus!
    We've been having a bit of moisture every few days or so, nothing big, just enough to wet the ground and perk up the plants a bit.

  5. Love the woodpecker peering over the fence.

    Our sweetcorn plants ave been battered by the wind. Strong winds at this time when plants are thick and leafy is bad news especially accompanied by heavy rain.

  6. It looks to me like the corn is not being completely pollinated. Were the silks healthy, or did they look damaged? I have a terrific problem with bugs chewing on the silks, which causes the ears to look like yours.

    1. All the silks for all the ears look beautiful. One year I had the earwigs so bad they ate the silks off of them. That year I got no corn. I have earwigs in the crevices at the bottom of the ears now, but not in the ears themselves. So no silk damage. It could be that the bottom ears are just so far down they aren't getting pollen falling down to them. The pollen does have an extra leaf to get past. Next year I'll be better about hand pollinating. This year I tried but there wasn't much pollen. Then I found out the pollen releases later than the last variety I grew and I have to do it after 11am. But I figured it out too late really. If that is the case, next year I'll get more corn.

  7. As the years go by my store of useful bits and pieces for things like repairing storm damage gets bigger and bigger. It's a long time since a car was parked inside my garage! That photo of the Woodpecker is better than you think, BTW.

  8. Well, at least you had one good ear of corn on each stalk! I have never seen a woodpecker that close up - it's beautiful! Love the butternut squash - another must try for me.