If you enjoy homegrown vegetables but don't have the time or space to be a do-it-yourselfer, there are several farmers' markets across the county.
On Tuesdays, there is a market at Zion's Cause Baptist Church across from I Kids on Hwy. 68 West from 8 a.m. until noon. A market opened recently at the corner of Hwy. 95 and Hwy. 62 at the Lakeland Event Center in Calvert City. Vendors are set up throughout the day Thursdays. The Marshall County Farmers' Market is open at the University of Kentucky Extension office on Saturdays. Maryanna and I have also been setting up in Draffenville near CFSB Bank on Saturdays. Come out and purchase some great garden vegetables grown locally and enjoy the taste of summer.
During this first week of July, I am reminded of a few gardening tips. I have been told by veteran gardeners that you can plant sweet corn up until the 4th of July and you will be picking corn by frost. I would say that due to our changing weather patterns you can plant corn this week and should be fine for fall picking. The only negative about planting sweet corn this late in the gardening season is the worms that like to feast on the top of the ear. Also, Japanese beetles love the silk in sweet corn. Spraying with Liquid Sevin during the growing season will help, especially when the silks are white.
I have several varieties of sweet corn that I like. Nowadays, there are many varieties that are sugar enhanced. For bicolor sweet corn, Peaches and Cream has long been a favorite. Provident, Temptation, Obsession, and G-90 are others that are bi-color favorites. I have planted some G90 that will be coming in soon. I also plant Bodacious and Incredible. For a good yellow sweet corn, try Honey Select and Golden Queen.
Years ago when I lived in Elizabethtown, I gardened with Doc Gillespie, who recommended I try Silver Queen. A tasty white sweet corn, it was a favorite in that area. I took his advice and purchased both Silver Queen and Golden Queen.
On the day we were to plant sweet corn, Doc discovered that I had purchased two varieties of sweet corn. He advised that the two varieties would cross pollinate. At first, he was concerned about the cross pollination and was not crazy about the idea. He did not want me to bother his favorite Silver Queen. The young gardener that I was, I did not realize that the two varieties would cross. Doc suggested we plant the two varieties and see what happened. We planted four rows of Silver Queen and four rows of Golden Queen. The outside rows did not cross pollinate but the inside two rows did. The result was a delicious bi-colored sweet corn.
Doc picked some of these new bicolor corn and believe or not he really liked it. We both thought that it was a little sweeter than the Silver Queen. The following year, Doc and I were talking about what we were going to do with the garden. I asked what variety of sweet corn, we needed. Doc said, I think we need to plant two varieties and let it cross pollinate. I had to laugh a little bit as I thought of the previous year's conversation. Over the years, I have learned so many gardening tips from veteran gardeners and also discovered some things along the way through trial and error.
When planting sweet corn, you will need to fertilize with 10-10-10- or even 15-15-15. Sweet corn is a heavy feeder on fertilizer. When the sweet corn is about 2 foot in height, I will apply nitrogen, 34-0-0. The corn really needs the nitrogen to produce well and the soil is usually not full enough of nutrients without the addition of fertilizer.