Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Planting Corn

We LOVE fresh corn on the cob and look forward all summer for our corn to be ready. This year I am home full time, for a change, and have the time to plant the corn correctly.

Corn, like tomatoes, will grow roots up the stalk that is below ground. If you want strong corn that will withstand high winds, its a good idea to give it deep roots by planting, shallowly, in a trench. You then fill in the trench as the corn grows above the sides.

We have been through the corn that falls over during a storm or just falls over - period. Has anyone else experienced this mysterious corn toppler? Corn that is just laying on the ground in the morning for no apparent reason at all is very frustrating! At least, if it blows over in a big wind, I can put some reason to it but to just have it laying on the ground after a still and peaceful night can be maddening AND IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN THIS YEAR! I am not going to let it.

Anyway, to make a short story long, I planted it in the bottom of a trench this year, eight rows of trenches to be exact. Each trench is about 8" deep and the corn is planted shallowly in the bottom. I would have liked to make the trenches even deeper but, well, its just me and I had a lot to plant and time is short, you know how it goes...

I plan to hill them up like potatoes, as they grow.

After I dug the trenches and planted the corn, I watered it thoroughly. We are going to be about 1.5 weeks without rain, until it rains this weekend so I am watering everything now as I plant it. We are on a well and have a lot of water. The water table is so high here that just on the other side of our fenceline is a black standing water swamp that never dries. Big machines have been running back in there lately, clearing trees and such. I think they are working out a way to drain it now that the forest belongs to the city. I hope so! It makes the mosquitoes bad here! Bats are very welcome!

Another way to keep the corn erect is to plant pole beans to climb on it. Three or four vines per stalk is enough. The beans will hold the stalk up in a strong wind and give it strength. They will also add nitrogen to the soil as they grow, giving the corn the extra nitrogen that it needs. Corn is a heavy nitrogen feeder.

(This is not my picture.)

I started three flats of corn early indoors this year to get a head start on it. I planted it out in the garden a couple of weeks ago. Then came the snow. It didn't survive. Transplanting tiny plants is a lot more work than planting seed. I don't think I will do that again.

Our corn is not up yet but I check on it daily, hoping it is tall enough to plant the pole beans that will grow on it. This is a short version of the "Three Sisters Garden" without the squash. Our squash has it's own garden. I spent yesterday planting it. Now we just wait and wait...


The Japanese Redneck said...

Fresh picked is the absolute best!!!!

DayPhoto said...

I hope the corn stays upright!!! We plant our hard-dent field corn about 1.5" in the ground, the sweet corn guys plant thier about 1" in the ground. They space them rather close together, but not so close ears won't form. (I'm not sure of the closeness.)


Sheryl at Providence Acres Farm said...

You can always hill it as it grows, like potatoes and plant pole beans on it.

Michelle's Green Thumb said...

That's an interesting tip re: mounding it. I plan on planting my seed once the rain stops & was going to do it up a short hillside to help with pollination & I guess now to make sure it doesn't fall over!

I've been wanting to try the 'Three Sisters' for a while but need a bed dedicated for that which just got planted with other items this year - so next year.

Can't wait to see how this goes this summer!!