There is nothing like homegrown corn. It is easy and economical to grow. You can even learn how to grow corn on a small plot. If you'd like to plant and grow your own corn, then use these corn production tips to help you.
To grow corn:
- Choosing the type of corn can help in planting and growing. There are many types of corn including sweet, Indian and even popcorn. Sweet corn is the most commonly grown in the home garden. It is different from the field corn that farmers grow in the fields. It is usually harvested when it still has soft kernels. It is usually eaten on the cob, canned or frozen for later use. Sweet corn comes in white, yellow or a mixture of both colors. Field corn is mainly grown as livestock feed and for food manufacturing products such as high fructose corn syrup. Indian corn or flint corn has a hard outer shell and has a varying range of colors from red to white. This type can be grown for human consumption but is generally grown as ornamental for craft and decorative use. Popcorn can be grown too. It is considered a flint corn.
- Space is an important factor when you plant and grow corn. Decide how much space you will have to plant the corn. It is recommended that you plant at least three rows of corn. At the proper spacing (about one to two feet in between rows), it should be at least a six-foot plot. You will need this much space for proper pollination.
- There are many factors that affect the growing of corn. This crop needs warm weather for proper germination and growth. It won't tolerate frost well. It does better in a balanced soil but will usually do well in soils that other plants do not do well in. It is usually self-pollinating, meaning it doesn't need other types of corn plants to pollinate (and thus set fruit, or the corn cobs) but it does need more of its own type to pollinate properly. Some kinds has to be kept away from other types of corn because it may cross-pollinate and may not produce the preferred type of corn. Do not plant sweet corn near any other type (like popcorn) or this may cause improper pollination, leading to the formation of an unwanted and possibly inferior type of corn. It may not pollinate at all.
- After you decide how many rows of corn you want, you can start planting the corn. You may want to mark the rows first so that you keep the rows straight but it is not necessary to do this. An easy way to plant the seeds is to place the seed on the soil. Once you have all the seeds in place, then go back and gently push each seed in the soil. Make sure you place the seed no more than a half inch down into the soil. A quarter of an inch is recommended. This will deter pests such as seed-eating birds or ants from taking the corn for food but will give enough depth for the seed to germinate. Make sure you water your crop thoroughly and don't let it dry out. Most types take approximately two to three months to mature. Each type has short, mid and long season types so be sure to read the seed packages for this information.
- You can find corn seed just about anywhere. There will probably be a nice selection to choose from at most home and garden stores and grocery stores. But if you want specialty corn or a hard to find corn, you might have to look at local greenhouses or the Internet. Do a search on the web to find corn seed.
The process of growing corn doesn't have to be that difficult. Now that you know how to plant it, you can use that small garden in the yard or even pots to plant your corn!