Archives for posts with tag: maize

Well, no frost this time, so I took the tarps off and can get back to planting out the rest of the sensitive plants like pumpkins and maize. 

And of course, there’s always something to complain about – it’s dry. We need some rain. It’s supposed to rain lots this weekend. Probably too much, and I probably won’t want to go to the Fyris Farmers Market on Saturday either. 

Everything is fine – the weather is perfect this summer – I don’t have to water, it’s cool enough to get in a good workday every day, and everything is growing well. But, I suppose I have to admit, it’s a cool, rainy summer so far this year. 

Some crops are a bit late, but no problem, we may still get a warm spell. 

If, however, the cool weather continues, and we get an early frost, it could be a disaster. It has happened a couple of times during my gardening career, that we haven’t gotten any pumpkins or maize because of a bad summer and early frost. 

But I’m not going to worry about that now. 

No risk for frost any more. In fact the last frost was many weeks ago. It’s definitely time to plant out the pumpkins, squash, cucumbers, gourds, maize, etc, and a little bit more of everything else too.

Each pumpkin plant gets an extra dose of old cow manure.


I need a lot more mulching material.

There is a variety of sunflowers in the center and randomly dispersed among the pumpkins. Hokkori (Hokkaido pumpkin) and other pumpkins spiral outwards, with maize (sweet corn) in raised beds around the edges (along with some garlic and a few perennials).

I could have started a couple of weeks earlier this year, but with the off and on weather, I figured it was best to stick to the traditional schedule.

The warmer nights with no frost didn’t last very long. Last night I was awakened at 0300 by a cold breeze coming through the ajar window. Sure enough it was freezing again, so I got up and spent the next hour covering crops and yesterdays cementing.

Surprisingly the tomatoes survived but only barely.

Today I am picking all the rest of the tomatoes, pumpkins and maize so that I won’t have to do any more covering and uncovering, except for the daily cement work.

One thing that is good about the freeze is that it kills off the bugs and larvae on the kale and cabbages.

Actually there are lots of good things about a freeze.

This morning we looked out upon more frost.

Notice this stone buddha has frost on the top, but around the base the grass is frost free.

Hopefully the tomatoes were well enough protected.

Under the tarp is an unripe prize uchiki kuri.

Predictions say the frost is over, and we’ll have warmer nights for the next 2 weeks.

First frost is a major event here. This year it occurred last night – that’s about two weeks earlier than it has been the last couple of years. We saw it coming so major picking of pumpkins and maize as well as covering crops was in order. It was a light frost so no real damage, but tonight could be worse.

We have picked all the rest of the ripe pumpkins today. Some unripe pumpkins remain in the field and will be covered. The weather might just warm up again.


We’ve had a few nights of lite frost with more to come, so I’ve picked all the pumpkins except for a few unripe ones. The plants are not totally dead yet but look pretty wasted now. Time to pick the rest of the maize, squash, tomatoes and other frost sensitives too.

Temporary storage on the porch behind the house. The cellar is already quite full.

We only need about 20 to 30 pumpkins for the winter, so the rest will have to be sold, given away or thrown on the compost.

Fika time!

There is a very important and well used word in swedish – FIKA. It means coffee break. You stop every thing and have a cup of coffee or two along with the accessories. Swedish coffee is strong – about twice as strong as american coffee but half as strong as turkish.

Along with it you have pastries, or with sandwiches it makes a nice refreshing lunch. It may even be followed by a bit of reading and a nap. It keeps me from working too hard in the garden.

This is one of the main reasons why I moved to Sweden.

Here in my ‘bus stop’ I take my fika and view the maize and contemplate the pumpkin and sunflower growth.

I have about 5 sorts of sweet corn. The maize in the picture above is a tall sort that needs a longer growing season and may not ripen before the killer frost comes at any time now. We have had a tinge of frost a couple of mornings ago, but it seems not to have done any damage. The smaller sorts (below) ripen earlier, and we have been enjoying corn on the cob for nearly a month now.



Freshly microweeded and hand cultivated, the pumpkin leaves will soon take over and smother all further weed problems.


Joel is making a raised bed. I had to buy some more maize plants in order to fill out the raised bed circling the pumpkin patch.


Each plant gets special care.