Hotter than normal summer bringing better fall crops to Athens farm
From pumpkins, to gourds and corn, crops were planted less than a month ago at Mayfield Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch.
It's hard to believe that the beginning of fall is about two months from now, and fall plants have begun to sprout at Mayfield Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch. From pumpkins, to gourds and corn, crops were planted less than a month ago.
Last month, pumpkins seeds were planted. A week after planting, many were washed away due to heavy rain, but a combination of the rain and above normal temperatures this summer has kept soils at higher than normal temperatures.
"I think a lot of it has to do with it's been warmer earlier. So the ground temp or the soil temp has a lot to do with germination," says Michael Mayfield of Mayfield Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch.
At a second field, seeds were planted just last week, and sprouts are already up, thanks to recent 90+ degree days. Seeds germinated in less than 5 days.
"I mean, that's not crazy, but it's still pretty fast, I mean, normally a week to 10 days you're really starting to see everything come out, but this stuff was popping out two or three days ago," adds Mayfield.
Due to soil and weather conditions this month, Mayfield tells Channel 3, this fall turnout should be better than both 2016 and 2017.
The farm maze is in the works too. While most corn farmers plant in April and May, Mayfield says he must wait until July.
"When September rolls around, or the end of September, I want it to be tall and green," states Mayfield.
Corn is strategically grown late in the season because once the stalks turn brown, they wilt and become smaller, which is not something you want for a corn maze.
Once a design is finalized, a GPS is used to track the design, and herbicide is used to kill the unwanted stalks.
Mayfield tells Channel 3, the design of the mazes for this fall should be completed within the week.
Opening day for Mayfield Corn Maze & Pumpkin Patch is September 22.
For a list of times for the maze and haunted trail, click here.
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