Updated: Aug 18, 2021
Today I’m thinking about growing corn and thought I’d share some of my trial and error wisdom with you – hopefully it will help someone out this year!
The first don’t is planting the corn in a single row, not a good idea. This may lead to the unlikely hood of the corn not being pollinated or even the stalks toppling over from the wind. Corn is best planted in at least bunches of 3, packs of 6 at the minimum. This will provide the stalks with support from the wind as well as a better chance of being pollinated, pollen is located at the top of the cornstalk and corn is of course wind pollinated – so being in bunches allows the pollen to hopefully fall on the the silks of the corn below, behind or even in front of; instead of just blown away if it was planted in a single row.
Watering is also very important. Have you noticed your corn missing kernels? This is caused by water stress during pollination, so very important to not miss your watering schedule and of course try not to water from the top especially during the pollination stage as you may wash the pollen off.
Corn is also a very heavy feeder, best to plant in a sunny location, preferably in an area where beans or even clover was planted the previous year. You could also add a mixture of compost to the area before planting. When the stalks reach about 6” tall, side dress them with bone meal or your choice of fertilizer. Do not remove any side shoots or suckers as this may damage the root system which is very shallow, so try to not disturb as they are easily damaged. You may want to put some mulch around the stalks as this will help prevent the weeds from growing around them as well.
To get an extended season of eating cobs fresh off the stalk consider successive planting – start with an early maturing corn & then plant every 2 weeks (this will also work with many other vegetables in your garden).
This topic could go on forever so hopefully these quick little tips will give you a little insight in growing of corn!
Happy Gardening everyone :)