Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Corn tips and tricks..

We have been putting our corn in a few rows at a time so we can have corn all season. I know that many people think corn is one of the easiest vegetables to grow but I disagree. We have the hardest time growing corn but I do have a few tips that I have tried and they have worked about every season.

We have many hungry raccoons in our area and I have learned that if we plant beans with corn it does help keep them away a bit. I have seen many people plant squash or pumpkins letting them ramble along the cornstalks and cover the soil. I know this might work but it is too messy for me.

Corn does not like compost.... well atleast seeds and seedlings. Do not add compost to the top of the soil after planting I have found that compost will rot your corn seeds and little seedlings. I always wait until my corn plant is about a foot high then I will give them a top dressing of compost or a good dose of compost tea.

The most common pest that I have is the European corn borer larvae and corn ear worms. To prevent this problem you really need to start in the need to make sure you clean up all corn debris and turn over the soil each season. To keep the ear worms from eating your corn now you can add a drop of mineral oil to each silk just before the corn begins to form.

Another problem I have had is having many ears of corn without having many kernels in each cob. I plant my corn 10 inches apart in rows 30 inches apart. When I walk through my corn now I shake the stalks insuring good pollination...I really believe this has helped some.

Crows: They like to eat the early seedlings..if I see crows pulling up new seedlings I just add a row of gutter guard. This is 5 inches wide mine is wire but you can buy it in plastic. I just place this over my seedlings cover the sides with a good amount of soil and when the plants are just about bending I then remove it...I then know that roots of the corn are settled and will be harder to pull up.

Happy Gardening..