Popcorn Seeds, Fast Composting, and Other Gardening Ideas

This installment in a regular series on gardening provides a source for ten varieties of popcorn seeds and examines a new fast composting technique, among other gardening news items.

| May/June 1981

  • 069 drought preparation
    Iochief Hybrid Corn is a drought-resistant variety gardeners can consider planting in anticipation of dry conditions.  
    PHOTO: CROOKHAM COMPANY
  • 069 fast composting
    A fast composting system tested by the American Horticultural Society created fresh compost in eight days.
    MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF

  • 069 drought preparation
  • 069 fast composting

Spring has arrived, resplendent in all of its verdant fullness, and the seasonal cornucopia of flower and fragrance overflows. Fat, proud peonies perfume the lambent air, the year's first fresh-picked peas delight the palate, and—as soft night surrenders to day in the battle of the hours—winter's desolate chill is forgotten in the joy of life renewed.

Popcorn Seeds

There's still time (again, in most parts of the country) to tuck some popcorn seeds in an unused corner of the garden, and MOTHER EARTH NEWS has found a merchant who's offering ten different kinds of the explosive kernels! The Crockett Seed Company—which has purchased a mail order seed business formerly owned by that old-time supplier of organic necessities, the Natural Development Company—has varieties ranging from the relatively early Strawberry corn (90 days) and White Hulless type (95 days) to the long-season Tiny Tender Black (120 days). Contact Crockett Send Company and get the popper ready!

Fast Composting

Though instantaneous decomposition may be a bit down the road yet, we've come across some news (reported by R.M. Carleton in the journal of the American Horticultural Society that's pretty exciting. It seems that a new composting system has—in tests—transformed shredded matter comprising weeds, citrus peels, tomatoes, mangoes, melons, a slightly decayed whole chicken, several corrugated cartons, and (!) a pair of woolen trousers into garden-ready compost with the consistency of ground. up, moist tobacco in only eight days! The technique, which was invented by a Canadian, Jack Warrington, employs a "bin" made of felted plastic material that provides excellent control of heat, moisture, and air. The required containers, and a special shredding blade for use on rotary mowers, will be marketed some time this year. MOTHER EARTH NEWS will do her darnedest to rush test results to you.

Drought Preparation

In many parts of the country, last autumn was so dry that, by December, the word "drought" began to be heard. And in January—which had the least rainfall ever recorded during that month in the Northeast—big cities' water supplies had dropped perilously close to the crisis level. Worse still, many meteorologists began predicting that the next two decades—right to the end of the century—would be marked by much less rainfall than normal. For the thousands of gardeners who have been able to rely—without much thought— on nature for ample supplies of moisture, there was a whole new set of problems to face.



Well, with the spring some rainfall came and the water levels in many reservoirs rose. But wise gardeners are aware that the promise of spring sometimes withers in summer's heat, and that precautions against the possibility of a long-lasting dry spell should be taken. MOTHER EARTH NEWS has come up with a five point program that should help your garden make it through all but the worst of droughts.

The first step—although it may be too late for you to take action on it this season—is to increase the water-holding capability (known as field capacity) of your garden itself by incorporating all of the organic matter that you can into the soil.






Mother Earth News Fair Schedule 2019

MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

Next: February, 16-17 2019
Belton, TX

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!

LEARN MORE








Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 64% Off the Cover Price

Money-Saving Tips in Every Issue!

Mother Earth NewsAt MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet's natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. You'll find tips for slashing heating bills, growing fresh, natural produce at home, and more. That's why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.95 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.95 for 6 issues.

Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
International Subscribers - Click Here
Canadian subscriptions: 1 year (includes postage & GST).


Facebook Pinterest Instagram YouTube Twitter flipboard
Free Product Information Classifieds

}