Secrets to Growing Corn Successfully - It's Easy If You Take Care Of A Few Details
Growing corn! I don't care what you grow in your garden, nothing can
beat a freshly picked cob of sweet-corn.
End of discussion. :-)
The recipe for summer heaven is a cob that is picked and is no more
than a minute from the stalk to the pot (full of boiling water) so all
the sugars and sweetness are preserved.
Slather it with butter and salt and taste-bud heaven awaits.
Nothing tastes quite as good as fresh corn
Please understand that this plant is a greedy feeder
helpings of compost and organic type fertilizers (I really like the
extra nitrogen in fish emulsion) will help to grow big tall plants.
The nice thing about this plant is you can grow it in almost any
kind of soil
– from sand to clay – so there's no reason why it
shouldn't be on your garden list. Although a well-drained, organic soil
will give you the best results. Mind you, it does take up a lot of
space for a small harvest but that's the price you pay for mind-numbing
sweetness in your summer diet.
You're going to plant your seed
about a half inch deep (no
more) and approximately six inches apart for the early varieties and 8
to 10 inches apart for the bigger, later varieties.
A row should be approximately 10 feet long at a minimum and you'll
require 4 rows so the plants will cross pollinate and give you kernels
to eat. Rows should be 24 to 30 inches apart. If you plant your
corn in a single row, expect to get missing kernels or misshapen cobs
No Visible Seed
And never leave a corn seed showing in the row. If you do, a bird or
beast will find it. And then they figure out that where's there's one,
there has to be more. Your corn seed becomes their dinner and you can't
figure out why it didn't germinate. (hard for a seed to germinate when
it has been dinner two weeks ago)
An ounce of seed will sow approximately 50 feet of row
minimum of growing corn seed you should consider planting will be an
ounce. (4 rows of ten feet each)
Although this is a tough plant, weather conditions really do influence
the size and shape of the cob. Cold nights in late June
make your cob quite short for example. But like all things in the
garden, there's little you can do so just understand that sometimes
you'll get long cobs and some years you'll get the short guys. Growing
corn is a bit of a gamble that way!
Many commercial seeds are treated with fungicides such as captan to
prevent seed rotting. Untreated seed should only be planted when the
ground is up to 65F and that's around the beginning of June in the
average year in zone 4. If you plant after the first week of June, most
corn varieties will catch up to the earlier planted ones because they
are getting a warm start and don't have to struggle.
Sometimes there are small cobs produced on the bottom of the plant.
Do not harvest these or remove them – that will apparently slow down
the growth rate of the main crop of rapidly growing corn cobs.
can be stopped by putting small paper bags over the
cobs as they mature.
Borer or ear worm
can be controlled by applying a mineral or
horticultural oil to the silks.
I have no idea how to stop porcupine damage other than an electric
fence (looks like a bulldozer went through the patch) or raccoon damage
(other than by trapping out the beasts). I can now tell them apart –
porcupines lean against the stalks and knock them down to eat the corn
while raccoons can break the stalks or simply reach up to harvest the
cobs without knocking over the stalks.
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