I’ve got a little video to start off this blog. It was taken on our compound with a very chirpy sparrow in the background, during the daytime. You can see the basil that just roots itself around our place naturally, and growing in pots are 5 corn stalks (looking a bit wilted), and tomatoes. This is an experiment to see if we can get some ears of corn out of the corn plants. My son started the corn with seeds purchased from a garden center near Rashid Mall. These 5, planted in amended soil and watered regularly, took off quite nicely, while those planted in the ground, in sandier soil, developed thin, weak plants.
Since this video was taken, the corn have been transplanted just a week ago to a bigger pot, as they were getting root bound. Corn plants have fanned out roots, kind of like a broom, so they require soil and space. The pot is kind of small even though it is bigger, but we have noticed an improvement in their growth, and have moved them more into the shade, so they are not as affected by the sun and heat. Here are some photos taken to show the progression from planting to growing.
Kids have so much to learn from planting and growing! Keeps them curious! Having your kids involved with you in taking care of “their” plants, gives them an opportunity to own something. If the plants look wilted, my son goes and gets the hose to water the thirsty plants. He notices “his” plants more often than the others, and is really interested to see if he can get some corn. Just today he said, “mom, is that the corn?”, meaning the pollen sprouting out of the top. Since he loves to eat corn, he is eagerly awaiting the harvest!
The newest photos will be added tomorrow, as just today, the corn put out their pollen stalks! Perhaps two foot corn plants can produce a few ears? I was thinking they needed to grow to 5 feet or so, but perhaps with a container environment, the plants have decided this is the time to produce. Let’s see how this experiment turns out!
We also planted radishes at the same time we planted corn. They are looking good and are crowning above the soil. You will see the red color, however they are not big enough to pull up. I will be covering them with a little more soil so that they continue to grow without the sun drying the roots. That seems to work well for the sweet potato roots when they are above ground, so we’ll experiment with the radishes and see if we can’t get bigger roots by keeping them shaded.
For more recent news on the corn, go to my post here: https://datepalmsncamels.com/2021/04/18/4-growing-corn-in-containers-developing-ears/
Below is an article that relates to growing vegetables in arid environments. It is from 3 June 2018, entitled “Grow your own dinner with these six heat-beating garden veggies” by arabnews.com. Some good advice! Eggplant, Beans, Corn, Cucumbers, Peppers, Pumpkins, Squash, Okra seem to do well here.