After pulling up the garlic I had a 5×4′ open plot in the garden that I hadn’t counted on. Normally I have my garden planned out months in advance, so this was totally unexpected. I was stumped on what to plant.
I pulled out my Johnny’s catalog and started flipping through to see what my options were. There are a gazillion things I’d like to grow, but as I’m learning the ropes of growing food I’m trying to restrain my enthusiasm and live by the “Don’t know it, don’t grow it” rule for a few years.
I finally found it. Corn. I’d been planning on planting corn anyway, but had been struggling with where to plant it. I had been anticipating planting it in the ground (I know, so unusual for a raised bed gardener like myself), but hadn’t figured out what would be the best spot. This little blessing of extra space answered my question.
I recently finished reading John Jeavons’ How to Grow More Vegetables, and wanted to use the hexagonal planting spacing he suggests. Not wanting to bring a compass and ruler into the garden, I had my amazing husband whip me up a hexagonal planting guide with 15″ spacing. He made it out of scrap exterior trim and zip ties. I was able to squeeze 16 seeds into my available space, although some were right along the edge of the blocks so I’m not sure if they’ll thrive in such tight quarters. But I figure I have lots of seeds and it’s worth a shot.
I have heard that the loose soil of a raised bed is not always enough of an anchor to hold corn up in strong winds. I don’t plan to do anything to support the corn at this point, so we shall see how it progresses this summer.