Saturday, September 24, 2016

Corn Crop - First Attempt

Corn is one of those crops considered to be difficult to grow well in my area. I'm not sure exactly why yet, but most people will tell me that's it's a problem crop. I'm just starting to experiment with corn, so I haven't discovered the problems yet. Just give me time and I'm sure I'll have a long list. 

I'd like to grow enough corn for my livestock to enjoy a bit every week, plus enough for hubby and I to have a couple ears each week too. That means that I'll be growing primarily sweet corn of some type, but perhaps also some field type corn. I use to see corn grown all the time when living back in NJ and I listened to plenty of farmers as they "talked corn", so I have some basic knowledge about this crop. Just don't have personal on hands experience. Nothing like giving it a try! 

Last spring I grew two varieties of heirloom sweet corn. In one case I started with 10 seeds, and the other there were 12 seeds. Both grew, but poorly. Where I planted them, the soil wasn't fertile enough. But I'm learning. I've since upgraded my soil for corn. Nowhere near perfect yet, but this time around the corn should be better. 

Above, I recently planted the corn seed I got from the 10 plants of Golden Bantam (2 of the original 12 seeds didn't sprout.) The seed was sown about every 3 inches, with the intent of thinning the row to every 10"-12". I'm figuring on selecting for the most robust seedlings. 

A week later the seedlings are bigger, so it's time to apply a light layer of mulch. I'm using chicken pen litter since it contains a good nitrogen source. 
Part on the left is lightly mulch. Right side is awaiting mulching. 

Mulching completed. 

Next week I'll start removing the weaker corn seedlings, giving more room for the stronger ones. 

As you may have noticed, I'm intercropping this corn. The variety is a short growing variety that won't interfere with the  surrounding plants, which includes one young apple tree, one young egg fruit tree, and two baby coffee trees. 

In a few weeks I'll update you on the corn progress plus let you know what I've learned about corn thus far. 

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