July 18th, 2011
Having sweet corn on your own backyard is always great for a consistent source of yummy and healthy vegetables. Fresh corn on a cob is also a way for kids to eat healthy and delicious food. Growing corn should not be an intimidating endeavor. In fact, growing corn should be taken as an opportunity and challenge for your green thumbs. Freshly picked, corn is tender and hard to beat when it comes to taste. See how growing corn can be a productive and healthy endeavor for you.
When growing corn, choose which kind you would be planting. On seed packets, you can check out the label for the genetic abbreviations: su refers to Normal Sweet Corn, se, se+, or EH refer to Sugar Enhanced Corn while sh2 pertains to super sweet corn.
Before growing corn, check out where you will be planting seeds. August to September offers the best time period to sow corn seeds. When growing corn, choose an area where the soil has a pH of 6.0 to 6.8, and where there is full sunlight or an area with at least 6 or more hours of unobstructed sunlight. Soil temperature should at least be 55 degrees Fahrenheit to avoid negative effects of frost. Best temperature when growing corn would be 21-24°C (70-75°F). Also, when growing corn, make sure the soil is fertile and well-drained. Corn seeds prefer nitrogen-rich soil as well, so working compost, well-rotted manure and other organic matters will ensure a healthy base for the crops to grow.
Growing corn requires an understanding that this type of crop is wind-pollinated. Plant in a block of several rows for even pollination. For best results, sow seeds 1 to ½ inch deep, 4 to 6 inches apart in rows 24 to 32 inches apart. Water the rows well after-planting, at least an inch a week, but never from above to avoid washing away pollen. When growing corn, remember to thin the plant when they are 3 to 4 inches tall and use mulch to keep away the weeds and maintain the soil’s moisture. At 6 inches, make sure you hill soil around the base to anchor the plants and cover roots to keep them cool.
When growing corn, remember to add liquid fertilizer, blood-meal or partially rotted manure at 10 inches, 18 inches, and when tassels appear, to help boost growth. You can harvest when ears are completely filled, husks are dark green and a pierced kernel shows a white, milk-like liquid. This is about 20 days after the silks appear.