Friday, September 23, 2016

Growing corn on a small scale

Yep this year we even tried corn. We got it planted much later but we still tried. Above is how they looked just recently,  but this joyful experience did come with many learning opportunities. Early on we had pest problems and I ended up just pulling one of the plants. We had  a cutworm make home deep down in one of the stalks. At the time when I pulled the plant it just looked unhealthy, it was not till after I pulled it did I found this worm hiding deep down in the plant. Other pest to keep a eye out for are wireworms, flea beetles, and corn earworms. Hand picking and destroying them is best as soon as you find them. Other then that rodents will also feed on corn. Many years ago we tried and squirrels took all of the stalks down. Traps or fences will help with that problem...or a dog. :)  

Some things I learned about corn while still growing it, feel free to add any of our own knowledge.
~Corn is shallow rooted
~Keep weeded to avoid competition
~Do not grow corn in a long row, instead grow in groups to help with pollination
~Water regularly
~Corn grows fast in hot weather
~Fertilize regularly
~Best planted in spring
~Plant corn in full sun
~ Corn is a member of the grass family
~Sizes normally ranges from 7-10 feet

Good companion plants are~
beans (not pole beans)

Corn plants have both male and female parts one on plant. The male part is the top, it only shows on mature plants and is called the tassel. The pollen grains that come off of this are what contains the male sex cell. As seen above
The female part of the plant is the silk. When a grain falls onto the silk it germinates pretty quickly.
Now this is something  I am still looking into and finding mixed things about. 
 One stalk has red grain and even red silk. (seen above and below) I know  I did not plant them at the best time but I felt like even if we got no corn they would give the house some decor, and my neighbors love seeing corn outside of someones house growing.(I know weird but no one near me really has a garden that they grow food in) I read that this could be something wrong with the soil. I also read that this happens, either way I really got no answers. I would love to know if anyone knows why this happens? Any info betters me for growing them next year.

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