Friday, August 20, 2010

Corn on the cob

This is my first year attempting corn.  I grew a variety called Incredible from Fedco seeds.  These were grown in a 4x12 plot.  I added compost at planting time and think that I could have added more.  They were fertilized with fish emulsion every 2 weeks after they broke ground.  There is such a wide variance in how they did. 

I am a bit confused.  I had heard that corn did well in large patches, so that they could all pollinate properly.  Having seen corn grown in the fields nearby, the edges seem to be smaller.  In my case, the edges were producing the largest ears, with very little in the interior of the bed.  This is certainly not all the corn to be harvested, but I'm not expecting to get too much more. 

They were very tasty.  The family was thrilled with the perfect level of sweetness and corn flavor.  I'm not very happy with the yield.  It seems like a waste of garden space.  Should I have been more aggressive with the fertilization?  Did I just need a bigger bed?  I would love any wisdom from the more experienced corn growers.

12 comments:

farmwifetwo said...

Mine's planted in 2 rows across the garden at about 12" apart, and I'm going to guess 4 to 6" spacing. Dh planted the corn using a seed planter.

The coon is trying to get his share plus ours... not as bad as some years so we've had a few good meals and there's more ripening. We put in 2 different length corn seeds.


Got 3.5L of tomatoes canned (hot packed) yesterday... got barely enough rain yesterday to hold the sand down. Picked a few peppers today, the plants are sucking back the moisture out of them so they have to be picked - fast.

Suppose to rain this weekend... I'll believe it when I see it.

Karen Anne said...

I've never grown corn, but I have the idea that missing kernels means not pollinated. Maybe the wind didn't get into the interior of the plot?

Karen Anne said...

By the way, the missing kernel ones have a kind of exotic appeal, to me anyway. I get those if any happen to make it through for sale. It says All Done By Nature :-)

The Mom said...

Farmwife, I'm glad your tomatoes and peppers are coming in now. Hoping for rain!

Karen Anne, they didn't get pollinated and I'm not sure why. My daughter loved the funky ones the best. She thought they were very cool.

Daphne said...

Sorry I'm no help. I've rarely planted corn as I've found it doesn't produce well for the space either. I might try next year again though.

Anne M. said...

IMO - corn does seem to be a waste of space in a garden where space is limited. It sure is tasty tho!! =)

We've planted it in 09 as a trial - half did GREAT and the other half did nothing (2 types).

This year we planted the good type different brand (bi-color sweet?) and it only did so-so. This time we also didn't seed it as close together so maybe that is it? We planted almost half our garden in corn because it was lower maintenance than other crops and we wasn't living near our garden space this year.

My grandpa always did say to plant 3 seeds in each hole so that's what I always do but this year it wasn't seeded by me. My FIL swears by "hilling" the corn at least once in the growing season by pulling dirt from the center of the rows toward the base of the plant. We did that in 09, not sure if it made a difference or not.

Even tho I've wrote a ton I thought I'd let you hear what I heard once about corn fields near us (for - little ones on edge) -- they say that's because the fertilizer doesn't get sprayed to the edges as evenly.

The Mom said...

Daphne, it really is a space hog. We'll see if i have the space to waste next year.

Anne, thanks so much for all that info. I guess if I don't have a field, then I probably shouldn't bother.

henbogle said...

I gave up on corn, as there are so many nearby places I can purchase better corn than I could ever grow. I always buy a dozen ears and freeze what we don't eat; it is a special treat in the winter.

It just takes too much space, and with hens, I don't need anything else attracting raccoons to the area!

The Mom said...

Henbogle, I think I'll probably go back to the farm as well. There certainly isn't enough in my garden to freeze.

kitsapFG said...

I am having a horrible corn year this year too - last year was great - so much of it is weather related because the plants need certain levels of warmth, sun, and irrigation at critical stages to really produce well. Fertilization is critical too - huge nitrogen feeder. I know our weather was not corn suitable this year and I did not side dress the plants mid season like I usually do - and I am getting a lousy crop as a result. With a small stand of corn you can easily help the pollination by just gently tapping the tassle stalks which will release the pollen into the air - essentially you are acting like a breeze and helping the pollen to release. Easy to do do and it works.

The Mom said...

Laura, thanks for your help. I may try again another time. We'll see how the garden plan goes for next year.

Leigh said...

My corn didn't do well either, but I think it was due to poor germination, which left what I did get, looking like your ears on the left. I didn't have enough plants for good pollination. Not too sure what to do about that next year. I reckon a bigger bed would help.