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In the garden…corn

SchneiderPeeps: Growing Corn

This weekend we planted another corn patch. We have around 45 plants that we planted 6 weeks ago and they are now about 2 1/2 feet tall. (it’s hard to measure since we’ve had alot of wind and they are almost laying on the ground). They should be ready to harvest in the next 6 weeds or so and then we’ll have another batch about 6 weeks later…if all goes according to plans. I’m trying to grow my luffas with the corn that is already planted. Something ate all but one plant so we replanted that also. With our new patch of corn we’re planting pie pumpkins.

I found an article over at Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op on making compost tea (or manure tea) so we made some of that. Most of the articles I’ve read say that you need an aerator like the ones in an aquarium. That just seems too complicated for me, so I really liked this article.

corn growing
windblown corn

We’ve had so much wind lately that the corn is having a hard time standing up.

Here’s some handy information about Corn…

  • official planting times in my area March 1st – April 30th  (although all the corn farmers around here plant closer to Feb. 15th. We plant when they plant.)
  • soak the corn seeds in water for up to a day before planting. This will help them sprout earlier. If you don’t they will be fine. It probably only makes a day or two difference but I’m not the most patient person in the world.
  • plant 6″ apart…not 5 or 4 but a full 6″. Especially if you are going to plant squash or beans with them as they shorter plants need sun too.
  • corn is a huge plant and they need lots of nutrients so make sure and add compost or compost tea to them during their growing season (this is why we made the tea)
  • plant in 4 short rows instead of 1 or 2 long rows. The corn needs to be in a box shape to get good pollination.

Pests and Problems
We have had very little problems with our corn in the past, mostly worms at the top of the ear near the tassels.

  • Corn borers will live in the corn stalks all winter, so remove the stalks from the garden after harvest
  • Corn earworms – these are the worms we have trouble with. Last year I put a drop of flax seed oil on the opening of the husks after the tassels wilted and we only had a couple of ears that had worms. (I had read somewhere to put mineral oil, but all I had was flax seed oil)
  • You can also us bt which is an organic pest control on either of these pests. We try to use bt as a last resort and have not had to use it on our corn.

Harvest and Storage

  • Harvest when the silks turn brown and the top of the ear feels kind of flat when you pinch it.
  • You can freeze corn either on the cob or cut the kernels off the cob
  • You can can corn (if you have a pressure canner)
  • You can store it in the refrigerator and eat it every day until it is gone (this is what we do!)

If you have any other corn tips, feel free to leave them in the comments.

You can find information about other fruits and veggies by searching clicking on the In The Garden tab up top or in The Gardening Notebook.

Thanks for sharing with your friends!


Wednesday 22nd of June 2011

I am so glad I started reading through your garden posts! (I'm visiting from Smockity Frocks.) We have always had terrible problems with ear worms and this year I'm looking for an organic way to prevent them. I have some mineral oil so I will (hopefully) try this! I have planted a LOT of corn because we love to eat it through the winter (I cut it off and freeze it). This is my first year planting what will hopefully be enough to get us through till next year and I really don't want to donate 1/2 of every ear to the worms! That happened 2 years ago and it made shucking miserably long.