Although, according to the USDA, corn ranks four spots behind tomatoes as the most popular vegetable to grow in a home vegetable garden, it still is a very popular item because of its taste, texture and availability. You may not have the budget of a commercial corn grower to make your life easier, but you can take some steps to make your corn harvest much more successful. Here are some steps you can follow the next time you decide to grow corn in your home vegetable garden.
Just as if you were building a house it all begins with a great foundation. In this case the foundation is the soil or site where your corn will grow. Preparing the site and laying that foundation begins long before the first corn kernels go in the ground. In the fall mix in plenty of compost and manure and work it in thoroughly with a pitchfork. This will help increase your worm presence in the soil which has a number of varieties from vermicompost to soil aeration.
In the spring as soon as the fear of frost has passed, put down a one inch layer of finished compost. This will supply the nutrients young corn kernels will need to germinate, thrive and survive.
About out a week out from planting, put down over the soil, black or IRT plastic. This will help heat the soil up as well as eliminate some (not all) of any weed seeds they may have found their way into the bed. Monitor the soil temperature with a soil thermometer, and take accurate readings. You want the soil temperature around 70 degrees Fahrenheit.
Now that the soil is ready, remove the plastic and plant the corn kernels about one inch deep and no further than eight inches apart. To increase pollination plant the corn kernels in blocks of four and sow new blocks every ten to twenty days so that you get corn throughout the season.
Corn is great vegetable to grow and with so many varieties to choose from there is sure to be something out there for every home vegetable gardener.
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