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Corn in Greenhouse?

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Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  baileyhermit on 4/16/2014, 11:49 am

Wanting to know if anyone has tried corn in a greenhouse?

Live at 8500 feet and typically can not plant outside until after Fathers Day, and first frost in beginning of Sept. Shocked  so very short season up here.

New greenhouse construction almost done, 15w x 20l x 10 feet high. Gonna have 3 raised beds in there.
Want to try Northern Xtra Sweet corn.

Will have several fans in there for circulation and greenhouse has 4 auto vent openers, door on each end of greenhouse.

Any suggestions for planting or warnings? I do want to plant tomatoes as well, and know the two should not be together. Will plan on having them in separate areas with in the greenhouse....

Appreciate it folks!   I love springtime,  sunny  tho we are expecting snow (again) tomorrow affraid
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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  camprn on 4/16/2014, 11:59 am

I don't know how well that would work. Corn needs the wind for pollination. No pollination no ears of corn.

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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  baileyhermit on 4/16/2014, 12:24 pm

I was planning on using two oscillating fans, one on either side of the raised bed where they would be planted.  

And the doors are the type that you can open the top portion of them, lower portion is shut.
They (doors) are in middle of end walls, one each end. Grow bed for corn would be in the middle.
Would think enough air flow/"wind" with all of that combined??

If not, how about hand pollinating? Tho I would have to learn how to do that  lol!
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Woo Hoo!!

Post  baileyhermit on 7/8/2014, 12:57 pm

Wooo Hoooo! You CAN grow corn in a greenhouse!

Planted an Extra Tender variety of corn in my new greenhouse (14 x20) and actually getting corn that is almost ripe!
Pollination was not a problem, have door on each end of the greenhouse and strong fan running. Also hand pollinated just to make sure.  Plants are about 6 feet tall. Used fish emulsion, vermicompost and llama poo for fertilizing. Have cosmo's, nasturtiums and marigolds mixed in for companion planting. Lady bugs and praying mantis (I think, can't tell if they hatched or not) for pest control.So far so good and all looks nice and healthy. Very Happy 

Next question- how do you tell when corn is ripe and ready to pick?


The results:  (keep in mind I live at 8500 feet!)




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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  sanderson on 7/8/2014, 1:03 pm

Well done!  okay  I wouldn't mind seeing a broader photo or two of interior of the entire greenhouse. Quite an enterprise at your elevation.
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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  baileyhermit on 7/8/2014, 1:17 pm

First time in 24 years that I have more than a "mini" ear of corn. I am stubborn and keep trying LOL.

Here's the rest of the greenhouse:

This was about a month ago...  corn, Tatsy bite melon, cucumber bush variety in the center.



Taken a couple days ago...need a machete to get in there now



What is left of the cauliflower. Have broccoflower, cauliflower, marigolds, nasturtiums and sunflowers in this bed.



harvest woo hooo. So far about 8 pounds of cauliflower harvested.



sweet potatoes (yes at 8500 feet). No idea of when these will be ready. Took a long time until they started vining out. There is  more corn in the background, peppers and dahlias. Also sunflowers and marigolds mixed in


Been a fun adventure this year trying new stuff.  Have been having a lot of hail this year and so far outside gardens are surviving. Monsoon last night and terrible lightening storms, but all looks ok this am.
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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  sanderson on 7/8/2014, 2:07 pm

I'm speechless  Shocked

You are the one with the super greenhouse with a good roof slope. Did you erect it this year or last year? Did the ceiling stay warm enough to keep the snow from accumulating?
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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  Marc Iverson on 7/8/2014, 3:21 pm

Wow, there's my fantasy for the day! Amazing looking! Some of those nasturtium leaves are as big as my hand.
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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  baileyhermit on 7/8/2014, 3:59 pm

Thank you guys, this was my dream for as long as I can remember (well, at least since living up here and trying to grow a dang tomato!). I just love to garden and this sure helps eliminate some of the frustrations with snow, hail, snow, varmits, snow and early late frosts. Did I mention snow?

We built it this year, and yes, is amazing for shedding off the snow. No problems with the load, or wind, or cold. Just wish I had gone bigger  geek  Some of those nasturtiums leaves are bigger than my hand, they are crazy     and kinda taking over.


These were some of the construction photos. It was a royal pain in the    to put up but well worth it.  18 ml on the sides and 10 on the ends. No problem keepin the heat in at night and we just love it.
It is such a great way to start and end my day, just putzin around in there talking to my plants  lol! 





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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  southern gardener on 7/8/2014, 5:26 pm

we found corn very easy to hand pollinate. We sort of made up our own way, and it worked!! We probably go close to 100 ears this year!! You can do it!!
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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  sanderson on 7/9/2014, 2:57 am

Hermit, Can you extend the greenhouse? Buy extra modules? I agree with Marc, fantasy for the day.
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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  greatgranny on 7/9/2014, 8:31 am

Fantastic.  Great idea to pass on to my kids and grandkids.
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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  baileyhermit on 7/9/2014, 4:45 pm

I imagine we could expand it if we had the space (and the cash).   This was experiment time for first year. The cauliflower really took up a lot of room and next year won't plant so many.
But since harvested them already, have broccoflower, cucumbers and zucs growing in that bed right now.  Been a fun year watching stuff grow and blossom!
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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  baileyhermit on 7/9/2014, 4:46 pm

How do you know when corn is ready to harvest without peeling back the top to take a peak??
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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  greatgranny on 7/9/2014, 5:18 pm

@baileyhermit wrote:How do you know when corn is ready to harvest without peeling back the top to take a peak??
Silks turn brown.  I still pull back the top just to make sure.
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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  Pollinator on 7/10/2014, 8:29 am

@baileyhermit wrote:How do you know when corn is ready to harvest without peeling back the top to take a peak??

It takes practice, but you can feel the ear and pretty well gage how well the kernels are developing.

I still tend to open the first few, though. If you peel back the shuck carefully, and you find that it's still to young, you can close it back up and wait a couple days more.

More often, you'll find the corn overripe. I like to get mine, when the kernels are young and sweet.
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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  Pollinator on 7/10/2014, 8:33 am

@baileyhermit wrote:I was planning on using two oscillating fans, one on either side of the raised bed where they would be planted.  

And the doors are the type that you can open the top portion of them, lower portion is shut.
They (doors) are in middle of end walls, one each end. Grow bed for corn would be in the middle.
Would think enough air flow/"wind" with all of that combined??

If not, how about hand pollinating? Tho I would have to learn how to do that  lol!

Hand pollination is simple - and recommended for small plantings. http://gardensouth.org/2011/07/09/you-can-avoid-corn-pollination-failure/
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Re: Corn in Greenhouse?

Post  baileyhermit on 7/10/2014, 8:33 am

ok, thank you for the advice. I peeked a little last night and still underdeveloped, but definitely looks like real ears of corn. Last several times I tried growing outside, they just never fully matured and ears only 3-4 inches long.
Can't wait!!! Woooo hooo  Laughing

Oh, and nice surprise yesterday. My Praying Mantis hatched!!  I was inspecting my plants and saw all these tiny brown things all over one of my plants. Have about 30 little Praying Mantis's in there. Was able to carefully collect some of them and distribute throughout both greenhouse. That was so cool to see them. The little pod still has the bubbly "stuff" that came out of the pod when they were hatched. I have one more pod that has not hatched yet that I can see.  They sure look like Aliens!
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