This is our comprehensive guide to helping you grow your own luscious patch of corn in your back garden!
Corn is very nutritious and can be added in bread, stews, and turned into flour for baking. It requires frost-free warm conditions to grow and develop its starchy beads. Here is how to grow corn and harvest it for multiple uses. The annual growing season of corn is long and needs utmost care to extend the safe harvest without any diseases and pest attacks.
The corn plants need to be pollinated, so they should be planted in blocks. Various varieties of corn have a similar sowing season but can be chosen based on early, mid, and late harvest plants. This affects the harvest season too as the crop may lose its sugar content with too much waiting period.
How To Plant Corn
When you decide to grow corn at home, keep in mind that cold can kill the crop. It is advisable to prevent frost conditions in any growth period of corn. You should wait until the temperature can be maintained around 60 degrees for the plant to flourish. This can be maintained with the help of a black plastic sheet over the planting filed to keep the soil warm.
You can choose to sow early mature type corn plants if you want a quick harvest. While planting corn at home, make sure you grow different tasting species separately, so there is no cross-breeding between them. This prevents the development of diseased corn and crop failure.
Pick a sunny area with nitrogen-rich soil to feed the corn crop. You can add fertilizers and compost in the soil depending upon the area and plants sown. When learning how to grow corn, remember the crop should not be in the way of the wind and should be wind-protected.
If you want to grow corn from the cob, make sure it is dry and plant it one inch deep into the soil. The temperature should be high for the seeds to develop and germinate. You can plant a few and see which one performs better and discard the rest.
How To Care For Corn
For the first initial month of planting, you will need to inspect the plants for weed growth. While removing the weeds, make sure you don’t disturb the tender corn roots. You can also apply mulch to the soil to decrease weed growth. The instructions on how to grow corn plant include at least an inch of water per week.
The cob may miss a lot of kernels if there is a shortage of water. So, ensure that you are adding enough water to the corn patch. Do not spray water on the plants, rather apply it to the soil surface. You can use a drip irrigation method to do this without affecting the plants.
How To Harvest Corn
You can check the cobs for husk and kernels by removing the top of the corn silks. If you notice a milky liquid, the cobs are ripe and ready for harvest. This is the ideal time to pick the corn cobs. Avoid picking dry silk or yellow ones as they are past their harvest time. Hopefully, this helped you learn how to grow corn easily in your backyard.
Tips & Common Problems
Pests like corn earworms and cutworms are common for corn plants. You can use vegetable oil and soap liquid to discourage their breeding and moving around on the crop. Methods like crop rotation and using disease-resistant hybrid seeds will be helpful in pests and disease issues.