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Information for Gardeners

Corn

Zea mays var. rugosa

Planting:

Corn is wind pollinated, so it must be planted in a block of several rows for even pollination. Sow seed 3-4" apart and about ½-1" deep in rows 24-32" apart. Thin the seedlings to 10-12" as ears will be greatly reduced in size or not form at all on crowded plants. Ornamental corn must be isolated from sweet corn. Planting in cool soil will set back seedlings, especially if a frost is still possible. Best to plant when the soil has warmed to 21-24°C (70-75°F). Plant several different varieties of varying maturities to ensure a longer season of harvest.

Growing:

Full sun is required. Corn is a heavy feeder and requires fertile, well-drained soil with a pH of 6.0-6.5. Prepare the soil by working in well-rotted manure or other organic matter. A side dressing of nitrogen, applied when plants are about knee high, will give corn an added boost in growth. Try bloodmeal, partially rotted manure or a liquid fertilizer. Corn needs plenty of moisture. Hill soil around the base of the plant when they are 6" high. This will help to anchor the plants and keep the roots covered and cool. Use a mulch to keep down weeds and conserve moisture.

Harvest:

Corn is ready when the ears are completely filled and a pierced kernel shows a milky white liquid. A good sign of readiness is when the silk turns brown and crisp.

Pests & Diseases:

To control earworm, apply mineral oil to corn silk as soon as the silk appears. After harvest, remove corn stalks to prevent overwintering of corn borer.

Companions:

Bush bean, beet, cabbage, cantaloupe, cucumber, parsley, pea, early potato, pumpkin, squash.

Sowing Rate:

50g will seed 100'.