Summer is gone, but some sweet corn remains reminding us how good it was
Mid-autumn is a little more than a week away. The days are still warm, but the nights, now longer than the days, are much cooler. Temperatures dip into the upper 40’s and stay there until well after dawn. The sun is also lower in the sky and a deeper yellow, signaling to the summer vegetables their time is just about up.
Normally the only things still plodding along in what’s left of summer’s vegetable garden would be some beans, small hot peppers, and a few of the tougher tomatoes.
The big-leafed, warm weather veggies like summer squash, cucumbers, and melons usually give their last gasp in mid-September. The sweet peppers and most of the tomatoes limp into October before calling it quits.
But corn, especially sweet corn, almost never makes it more than a week or two past Labor Day. And even then, the ears are smaller and not quite as sweet as harvests earlier in the summer.
Strange then that not only is this mid-October corn crop full of large, plump ears, but it’s also the sweetest, tenderest corn of the season. (The variety is Incredible from Pinetree Garden Seeds).
I’m guessing the relatively cool and wetter weather (at least by San Diego standards) that was the last half of summer may have played a role.
It also may be where the corn was planted.
It’s in the southernmost beds, where Jacob’s Cattle beans grew in the first half of the season (fixing nitrogen in the soil), and the slope shaded in late summer until 10 or 11 A.M.
The only way to tell, I suppose, is to repeat the exercise next year and see what happens.
But that’s next year. For now, we’re going to enjoy a lot of field-fresh sweet corn.
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