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A scheme to keep corn standing tall.

After a stiff August breeze, flattened his corn patch one summer, John Soderberg devised a scheme to keep his crop upright. Each spring when seed is sown, he nails a 5-foot-tall framework of 1-by-4s around two 6- by 12-foot raised planters. This frame corrals the corn plants, giving support to the mature outer stalks. It also supports a series of 1-by-2 horizontal stabilizing bars slung on twine at 2-foot intervals from the long sides of the frame. When plants are young, the bars are slung low; as plants grow, the twine can be shortened to raise the bars. The planters are pressure-treated fir 2-bys 8nailed to 4-by-4 posts. Originally filled with topsoil, they're refreshed with compost each spring; at planting time, Mr. Soderberg works an all-purpose vegetable fertilizer into the soil. When corn begins to tassel, it's fertilized again. In fall, he dismantles the corral, and stores it to use the following year. 1-1
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Date:Jun 1, 1990
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