How to Grow Sweet Corn, Popcorn or Dry Corn in Your Garden

Who doesn’t love sinking their teeth into fresh corn on the cob, or the aroma of cornbread hot out of the oven? the foremost popular choice for home gardens is, of course, sweet corn. this is often the sort you’ll grow if you would like corn on the cob or fresh corn kernels. Sweet corn varieties are available white, yellow or bicolor. For a touch variety, try some dry corn! Flint corn and dent corn come in a wide variety of colors and may be used as autumn decorations before processing them for meal, flour, polenta or hominy. Popcorn is another fun choice. Grow your own traditional yellow or multi-colored corn for popping!

If you’ve got enough space, plant several varieties! Unless you propose on saving seeds from your harvest for planting subsequent year, it’s okay to mix and match. you would possibly also plant multiple varieties with different lengths of your time until harvest, in order that you’ll enjoy an extended season of fresh corn.

Types of Corn to Grow

Sweet Corn–available in white, yellow or bicolor

Dry Corn

Dent Corn–when dry the kernels have a little dent. Varieties include Hopi Blue Dent and Bloody Butcher.

Flint Corn–when dry the kernel features a thick, hard outer coating (endosperm) and is more rounded. The ears tend to be long and slender. Varieties include Floriani, Glass Gem, and Japonica.

Popcorn– Varieties include Tom Thumb, Cherokee, Dakota Black, Neon Pink, and Spectrum Red Husk.

Growing Requirements for Corn

No matter what sort of corn you select, it’s all planted and grown within the same way.

Full sun–Because it grows so tall and dense, consider what you’ll be planting nearby which can be suffering from the shade it makes.

Planted during a cluster or a block for adequate pollination. rather than planting one long row, you ought to plan on planting a patch of a minimum of three closely spaced short rows.

Don’t plant too close, final spacing should be about 1 foot between stalks.

Prepare your garden bed for planting by adding many organic matters.

Corn may be a “heavy feeder” that needs high nitrogen fertilizer like alfalfa or feed. Other excellent thanks to fertilizing your corn are to plant a legume crop within the fall and switch it under a couple of weeks before planting.

When is that the Best Time to Plant Corn?

Wait to plant your corn until a minimum of a fortnight after the last frost date.

The soil must be warmer than 60°F for the seed to germinate.

Corn doesn’t transplant well, but if your season is so short that you simply must start it indoors, plant in biodegradable pots to avoid disturbing the roots when transplanting. a far better solution is to assist the soil warm faster before seeding outdoors, by using black mulch in your garden beds.

Soak the corn seeds overnight before planting to assist them to germinate quicker.

Plant them at a depth of 1 inch, with 2 seeds per hole.

Once they’ve germinated, keep the simplest seedling, and take away the others by snipping them at the bottom. Don’t pull the unwanted seedlings, because it could disturb or damage the shallow roots of the one you would like to stay.

Caring for Your Corn

Protect new sprouts–To prevent your corn sprouts from being eaten by hungry critters like birds, fence them in and canopy them with bird netting or lightweight Agribon (AG-15). Agribon also helps to stop corn rootworm, which are the larvae of cucumber beetles.

Feed them–When your corn is knee-high, dig a furrow next to every row of corn and fertilize within the furrow with high nitrogen fertilizer.

Keep them weeded–Keep up with weed control throughout the season. Mulch your corn well once it’s a couple of inches tall. If you opt to tug or hoe out the weeds, take care to not disturb the corns’ roots.

Water your corn sufficiently, especially once the tassels form because if allowed to dry out it could cause the kernels to develop unevenly. Using drip irrigation or a soaker hose will help ensure even watering and reduce weed growth too.

Lots of Pests Love Corn the maximum amount as You Do!

Prevention is the best remedy.

Keep out larger pests like deer by fencing your garden in.

Raccoons can strip a corn patch overnight: keep your corn safe by tying a paper lunch bag over each ear after it’s been fertilized (this also keeps birds off).

Corn earworms, corn borers, and other caterpillars hide in ears and eat up the kernels from the within. employing a clothespin on each ear tip once silks form can prevent caterpillars from crawling inside; otherwise, you can spray your corn with Safer Caterpillar Killer starting when silks emerge.

When is My Corn able to Pick

With excellent care, your corn will produce 1 or 2 ears per stalk.

Sweet Corn

Sweet corn is prepared to reap about three weeks after the silks appear. At this point, check for ripeness by pulling back a part of the husk and piercing a kernel together with your fingernail. If the juice is milky, it’s ready. If clear, check again during a few days; if pasty, it’s overripe.

Pick the ears by bending and twisting them toward the bottom.

Once picked, sweet corn ears should be left within the husk until you eat or preserve them.

If you’ll not be eating them within 3 days of harvest, blanch and freeze the ears or the kernels for the simplest flavor.

Dry Corn

Dry corns should be left on the stalk to dry until the primary hard frost.

If dampness may be a problem in your area, you’ll cut the ears before the season and stack them during a cool place until dry.

Removing dry corn are often difficult, try employing a Hand Corn Sheller. Then use a grain mill to show it into flour, meal or polenta. If you would like to form hominy, don’t grind the kernels, keep it whole and store during a dry place until able to use.

Plant a corn patch this year, enjoy some fresh corn flavor, and grow organic for life!

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