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Corn per square

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Corn per square

Post  gardencat on 11/7/2012, 8:32 am

I'm new here so if this has been addressed before then I apologize in advance.

The original SFG advised planting one seed per square foot for corn. My observations of gardens, and farmers, suggested that was a waste of space. I used to plant a 4 x 4 plot with 48 seeds spaced about 7 inches apart. I always got a good crop but it took extra fertilizer and plenty of water.

The New SFG advises planting four seeds per sq. foot. In my opinion that's too many seeds per sq foot. That would be 64 plants in a 4 x 4 box. I just don't see that as being practical. Even if the planting is limited to four squares it's going to take a lot of nutrients and extra fertilizing to get a good crop.

My question is this; Am I missing something here?

I finally gave up on corn because some of the local growers sold delicious varieties of corn and I could use my space for other plantings. I have a granddaughter that insists that we plant corn next year and she's he boss. Smile
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Re: Corn per square

Post  llama momma on 11/7/2012, 8:50 am

Here is a pic of mine from the gallery, 64 per 4ft sq. box -
It works and it is delicious. Mine were in a 8 inch deep box with no extra fertilizing. I admit the compost was loaded with llama manure.
http://squarefoot.creatingforum.com/gallery/Personal-album-of-llama-momma/gina-s101-pic_3011.htm
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Re: Corn per square

Post  mollyhespra on 11/7/2012, 8:55 am

LM, that corn looks yummy--but also really packed in--did you have any concerns or issues with poor air circulation between the plants? Does corn get PM or is it usually harvested before it hits hard later in the season?

I'm planning on planting corn next year, too--popcorn--so I'm interested in this question.

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Re: Corn per square

Post  llama momma on 11/7/2012, 9:17 am

No air circulation/pm problem being packed in like that. No smut either. Didn't have to really cook it but I did for a couple quick minutes, tasty right off the stalk. This variety was call peaches and cream. If there are commercial farms near you then cross pollination can become an issue. I can only grow this every other year or it will become very starchy from the cow corn grown next door. The farmer rotates each year between corn and soybean. Next summer is soybean so I'll be growing this again. : ) Here is a pic:
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Re: Corn per square

Post  Lavender Debs on 11/7/2012, 9:37 am

I did 4 per square, planted out in soil cubes in a 4x8 box. The corn I got was wonderful. I will change the pattern next year, not because of disease or soil fertility but because of pollen problems in the center of the box where the leaves were so thick that it was difficult to get pollen to the silks.

June 5 after the cubes were in.

August 14: We had worried that the wind rail was too tall. Instead it was perfect.

We harvested in early September. SFG is not the best way to grow corn but we have such lousy soil that for us, it is the only way. Next year I will either put pumpkins-squash in the center squares OR put only one per square in the inner squares and keep 4 per square in the outer squares.
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Re: Corn per square

Post  llama momma on 11/7/2012, 9:57 am

Also, to assist corn from blowing over, tomato netting can be suspended horizontally at about 3 feet high, attached to 4 posts driven into the corners of the box. Corn will be supported nicely through summer windstorms. Mel's mix is quite soft and I learned the hard way. Had to upright most of the stalks after a storm. The chicken wire around the box was not enough help, everything still leaned way over.
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Re: Corn per square

Post  cheyannarach on 11/7/2012, 12:55 pm

I think if I do corn next year I am going to plant two per square, kitty corner from one another in each square.
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Re: Corn per square

Post  gardencat on 11/7/2012, 1:05 pm

Thanks for the comments everyone.
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Re: Corn per square

Post  southern gardener on 11/7/2012, 1:39 pm

corn was about the only thing that DID grow for us. We did 4 per square. They corn cobs were small though. It didn't blow over and we didn't have any mildew problems.
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Thanks for the info

Post  Meels on 12/14/2012, 11:40 pm

I'm just planting out my 6 corn seedlings now - summer's just arrived in NZ. Im going to go average and put the 6 over 2 squares! More room for my beans, peas and cucumbers. Thanks for your help.
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Re: Corn per square

Post  gardencat on 12/15/2012, 1:30 pm

@southern gardener wrote:corn was about the only thing that DID grow for us. We did 4 per square. They corn cobs were small though. It didn't blow over and we didn't have any mildew problems.

What variety did you plant? Some varieties, called bantam, do have small cobs.
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Re: Corn per square

Post  southern gardener on 12/16/2012, 2:03 am

@gardencat wrote:
@southern gardener wrote:corn was about the only thing that DID grow for us. We did 4 per square. They corn cobs were small though. It didn't blow over and we didn't have any mildew problems.

What variety did you plant? Some varieties, called bantam, do have small cobs.

I believe it was Peaches and Cream, might have been Kandy Kane? Or Candy Cane?
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Re: Corn per square

Post  gardencat on 12/16/2012, 11:46 am

@southern gardener wrote:
@gardencat wrote:
@southern gardener wrote:corn was about the only thing that DID grow for us. We did 4 per square. They corn cobs were small though. It didn't blow over and we didn't have any mildew problems.

What variety did you plant? Some varieties, called bantam, do have small cobs.

I believe it was Peaches and Cream, might have been Kandy Kane? Or Candy Cane?

Both of those varities should produce ears 8-10 inchs long. Corn takes a lot of nutrition and water to do well but the drought conditions could have affected it too. Better luck next time. Smile
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Re: Corn per square

Post  johnsonjlj on 1/4/2013, 6:19 am

We did 4 per square last year, but had small or not fully developed ears, so we'll be trying 2 per square this year, planted in opposite corners. Still trying to determine the best way to support it, as I also had issues with corn blowing over last year! It's times like this that I wish the people who make metal conduit made all of the fittings you can get with pvc- the metal condiut is so much stronger!!

Judi
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Re: Corn per square

Post  yolos on 1/4/2013, 10:31 am

Kee Klamps
yolos on 11/26/2012, 12:33 am

.Check out the cool fittings that can be used with the EMT pipe for building a trellis or other garden structure. Unfortunately they are quit expensive. But as I was scrolling thru all the various fittings I kept saying to myself "wow I could have used that".

http://www.simplifiedbuilding.com/store/components/kee-klamp.html
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Re: Corn per square

Post  walshevak on 1/5/2013, 7:48 am

Using a metal drill bit, I was able to drill through the PVC fittings and EMT and fasten with nuts and bolts. Much cheaper.



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Re: Corn per square

Post  southern gardener on 7/3/2013, 10:00 pm

We have always planted 4 per square, and gotten OK results. I have a bed that only got one per square in a couple of areas and the stalk is HUGE compared to the others. It has 5 tillers (I think that's what they're called). The tillers are bigger than the stalks where we have 4 per square! The tillers also appear to have ears developing too! How many stalks do you plant per square? I'm wondering if 4 per square is too many nutrition wise? I have 192 planted 4 per square and the stalks are about the size of my thumb in diameter compared to my wrist affraid  on the other. My beds are 6" deep, but where the big one is is probably about 7-8" deep. Thoughts??thinking
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Re: Corn per square

Post  yolos on 7/3/2013, 11:08 pm

In my old row garden, I used to plant the corn 12" apart and rows 2 feet apart.  So, it was a big stretch for me to try 4 per square this year.  I compromised and planted 2 per square.  Planted Silver Queen corn.  I will see how it works and I will know if more per square will work in my garden.  This is the one vegetable that takes more work in square foot gardening than in row gardening.  My corn is about 2 feet tall and already trying to fall over in our recent thunderstorms.  There is no way to pull the soil up to the stalks to strengthen them.  So I will have to use string/twine run down the length of the bed between the stalks to keep them from falling over.
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Re: Corn per square

Post  southern gardener on 7/3/2013, 11:12 pm

ok...cool. Please let me know how it works! Silver Queen is what we've planted also. I just can't believe the difference in size, especially if we get ears off of the "tillers". Way more space effective if so. It's about 7' tall and is just now putting out tassels, and the other started putting out tassels at about 2' tall....weird.........cyclops cyclops 
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Re: Corn per square

Post  Goosegirl on 7/3/2013, 11:21 pm

I planted my Bantam 4 per square, and they are definitely Knee High!  Can't wait until they get big enough to tassel.  Have not had success with corn yet.  This is my first year doing corn in one of my boxes.  Seems to be making the difference!

GG
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Re: Corn per square

Post  quiltbea on 7/4/2013, 10:53 am

I planted Quickie this year which is an early bicolor variety.  Package says 8-12" apart so I planted 2 per square diagonally across from each other in 12" deep beds.

I'm in Maine, zone 5a so didn't plant til June 2nd.  Sowed some purple-podded pole beans (so I could see them against all that green) with them on June 30th.  They are looking healthy, but not very tall yet.
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Re: Corn per square

Post  CapeCoddess on 7/4/2013, 3:18 pm

QB, did you plant the pole beans in between the corn? Or separate?

CC
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Re: Corn per square

Post  quiltbea on 7/4/2013, 3:24 pm

CapeC....I stuck one bean in about 3-4 inches in front or to the side of each corn stalk.
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Re: Corn per square

Post  greatgranny on 7/17/2013, 4:18 pm

Second year in a row that I planted the corn according to Mel's book.  No results.  Stunted plants, silks not forming until the tassels are done.  

I used to grow enough corn to feed a family of 8 every year.  Yes, it was the row garden thing.  Never had to water it because the roots went down seeking the water.  Didn't lose any to the wind.  Froze about 50 1 pint packages of corn and the rest we ate and made total little pigs of ourselves.  

I feel that the 4 per as suggested is fine if one has a much deeper square.  The minimum depth of the root system is 8" and if given the freedom will go to several feet.  The norm is to plant early corn 6" apart and late corn 12" apart.  

So, for next year I'm going to attempt it again but am going to go with only 2 per square and will add an extra large high hat.  I know that corn planted in the same spot year after year can invite rootworm.  This will stunt and make a very shallow root system and eventually the plant will give up.  I will probably make 2 high hats and rotate between corn and potato/carrots/parsnips, etc.  

Some of you are growing corn successfully as directed.  Well, for 2 years, with lots of good compost and plenty of moisture - it is not working for me.  No point for me to beat a dead horse and waste the seed.  I am so tempted to get out the tiller.  (that part was a joke, of course)
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Re: Corn per square

Post  camprn on 7/17/2013, 4:23 pm

2 years in a row. pfft......If it was me, I would plant the corn out of the SFG.......

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