Beyond "Knee High by the 4th of July"

An experiment in vegetable gardening

Measuring Up

July 4th, 2012

I was determined to try growing corn this year even though I was pretty sure that planting it on June 6th would mean that the first harvest would be a bit late in the season.  William was especially keen on it and besides, I needed that measuring stick from the old “Knee High” adage.

So after consulting THE book, I decided to plant Honey ‘n Pearl Sweet Corn, mostly because I liked the name!  Rookie that I am, I needed a ruler to make sure I was planting the seed at the right depth – just one inch!

According to the seed packet, germination would take 6-10 days.  I started checking after 3!

And a good thing, too, because in just 4 days, on June 10th, the first seedling appeared!  I could not have been more excited!

I was thrilled to see every seed I planted come up!  And although I put on a brave face, I was heartbroken when, after the seedlings reached a couple of inches, I had to thin them to 10 inches apart.

Now it was just a matter of taking care of the corn that made the cut and watching it grow ankle high and then shin high.

I planted two more rows of corn on June 23, about 2 1/2 weeks after the first planting, so that I’d have an additional harvest this fall. The seeds germinated like before but their timing could not have been worse!  They came up just in time for 4 straight days of 100+ degree weather.  I was worried sick about my baby corn so devised a bit of shade from a leftover mini trellis that Bruce made for me “just in case” and some landscape fabric.

Check out that shade! I think it helped because they all survived the heatwave and appear to be thriving after I took it down last evening right before a thunderstorm that brought an inch of rain!

So, here we are at the 4th of July and just how high is my corn?

I’ll let you be the judge.



  • Bruce Kitto says on: July 5, 2012 at 6:29 am


    I’d say they are 24 inches for the box height, minus 3 inches for the dirt level, plus maybe another 18-20 inches in leaf height on average plus…

    Oh, you didn’t mean how high are they literally. Oops.

    Anyway, they look knee-high to me. Congrats!

  • Marian Burke says on: July 5, 2012 at 9:12 am


    They’re certainly looking good and strong! Only been planted a month and they have grown so fast. That sweetcorn is going to be so tasty.

  • Renee Gallup says on: July 6, 2012 at 1:13 am


    Knee High! Congratulations!! The corn looks great!

  • Glen Kitto says on: July 8, 2012 at 11:29 pm


    Woo hoo! By Jove, you did it!!! When is the corn boil?

I'd love to hear your comments

Beyond "Knee High by the 4th of July"

An experiment in vegetable gardening