I am really loving tromboncino. Usually by this time of year, my garden is so full that I skimp on the sweet corn because I just don’t have room for it in my intensively fenced beds. And if I plant it outside the netting, the bandicoots dig it up, then the wallabies and padimelons eat the plant, then the parrots and possums and brush turkeys eat the corn.
This year though, I haven’t planted any zucchini, and it’s amazing how much space that saves. Tromboncino work with all my zucchini recipes and the climbing vine is sharing the south side of a garden fence with tomatoes and taking up no ground room at all. I learned last year how prolific they are, so I’ve only got four vines in, one in each of the last four beds I’ve moved the chooks off and planted out. So they are at four different stages. If I pick them young (like the ones at the front right in the picture) I can just about keep up with them, so far anyhow.
It means I have room for another round of sweet corn. I have two lots in so far, one planted in August that will be ready for the first picking in just a few weeks now, and one planted in September that will follow on. I missed sweet corn in the October planting – just not enough room to plant enough of a block so that it would wind pollinate. Sweet corn is a herd plant – if you don’t have enough of them, the wind cannot blow the pollen from the flowers of one onto the silks of its neighbours, and you get cobs with lots of kernels missing.
I also have room for some endamame. Or I will have by the time they are ready to plant out and I have moved the chooks on again. I love endamame but don’t plant them every year either. Now is about the latest I could plant them, since they are day length sensitive and like long days to flower. These ones will be flowering in February, just in time before the days start to shorten at an ever increasing rate.
I shall plant the seed in the shadehouse today, coating each seed in innoculant and planting two to a pot in leaf pots filled with a mixture of compost and creek sand. When they are about 10 cm tall I shall plant out. They grow to about 50 cm tall, so I’ll plant them out in a closely planted row around the southern side of a bed, in front of the climbers but behind all the shorter carrots and beets and lettuces and spring onions.
The dam is dropping but if we have a normal year, it should start to get wetter from now on, so with luck I’ll be able to keep the water up to a fairly full garden.