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Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

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Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  NHGardener on 6/9/2011, 10:33 am

My corn is lackluster. I planted it 2 weeks ago and it sprang up to about 4", and there it sits, looking a little yellowish. I top dressed with more compost 2 times, trying to boost it along.

Poking around youtube, I see a lot of references to indoor seeding of corn and transplanting outside. I'm thinking that may be a good idea in the northern shorter growing seasons.

Does anyone transplant corn seedlings into their SFGs?

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  milaneyjane on 6/9/2011, 10:53 am

I started my corn indoors last year since I wanted to grow a supersweet variety and we have a shorter growing season in MN. The plants did great, transplanted great, but when the stalks got about 3 feet tall they just stopped growing. I think the cuprit was the peet pellets I grew them in and the fact that the plants had a very small root system when I pulled a few of them. The outside of the pellets never disolved even after being left in the ground all winter. This year I used peet pellets for other flowers and actually took the outside coating off before planting.

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  NHGardener on 6/9/2011, 11:16 am

So you didn't try to transplant them again this year?

That sounds encouraging. I think next year I'm planting those indoors earlier.

And that's interesting about the peat pellets!

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  Barkie on 6/9/2011, 12:45 pm

I'm transplanting mine. From what I can gather it dislikes root disturbance so you start it inside in 3" or 4" pots then transplant it outside with the rootball intact before it is 3 weeks old and it doesn't realise it's ever been in a pot. I can tell you at this stage it has long roots! You might want to put a plastic cover/ cloche/ bottomless milk carton/ 2litre soda bottle over it at night for a while. I'll have to.

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  milaneyjane on 6/9/2011, 3:07 pm

No, I didn't try this year. I was so discouraged after last year. I had 1/2 a garden of corn that produced zilch. Literally every peet casing was intact this spring when I pulled all the plants. We will see what they do in the compost pile.

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  Squat_Johnson on 6/9/2011, 3:21 pm

Those jiffy peat casings are some kinda nylon, and do not break down as far as I can tell. I now remove all of those when I plant.

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  busygirl on 6/9/2011, 4:26 pm

Keep the cats away. I started mine inside in jiffy peat POTS (which have no type of casing material and the roots grow right through). They looked great and were about 6 inches tall. Then the cat ate them. All of them. Before I could get them outside.

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  BackyardBirdGardner on 6/9/2011, 5:14 pm

A neighbor of mine gave me the best tip ever for corn........plant A LOT of it if you want any of it to grow.

I planted 40+ plants, and still didn't know what I was doing. Therefore, have sort of sworn off corn in my gardens.

I would love to hear success stories to possibly re-energize me.

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  Goosegirl on 6/9/2011, 5:47 pm

@busygirl wrote:Keep the cats away. I started mine inside in jiffy peat POTS (which have no type of casing material and the roots grow right through). They looked great and were about 6 inches tall. Then the cat ate them. All of them. Before I could get them outside.

First year I did seed starts in the house my cat did that to all of my peppers and tomatoes!

:cat:

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  NHGardener on 6/9/2011, 6:32 pm

You know if you cut that stuff up and put it in your cats' food bowl, they would turn their nose up at it...

That's a funny tip about the secret to success with corn is to plant a lot of it. I didn't know it was so hard to grow. Makes me feel like less of a failure. Ha.

I have 12 squares of corn so we'll see what happens.

And I will never, ever use those peat pots now, good to know. What would probably work well is the soil block square makers you can buy, or I assume you could just make your own cookie cutter soil block maker and make 4" squares for indoor corn seeding.

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  westie42 on 6/9/2011, 11:47 pm

How about doing it like the Indians taught the pilgrims .
"Squanto's importance to the Pilgrims was enormous and it can be said that they would not have survived without his help. It was Squanto who taught the Pilgrims how to tap the maple trees for sap. He taught them which plants were poisonous and which had medicinal powers. He taught them how to plant the Indian corn by heaping the earth into low mounds with several seeds and fish in each mound. The decaying fish fertilized the corn. He also taught them to plant other crops with the corn."

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  squaredeal on 6/12/2011, 12:19 am

This is a photo of my corn. So far so good. I'm staggering the plantings; today I planted my last four squares. Corn likes heat, but not during silking,it likes N, and it likes regular waterings. It is mightly attractive to bugs, birds, and critters, but I still can't resist growing it. I grew it as a row crop last year; this is the first year for the box. I'll be putting up my horizontal trellis very soon.

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  NHGardener on 6/12/2011, 12:36 am

Your corn is that big? I'm in the same zone as you, but mine is only about 4" high. Hmm.

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  unmadecastle on 6/12/2011, 11:44 am

I replanted some corn that I thought just never came up. It was one or 2 corn in about 4 of my squares. Well 2 days ago the new corn started coming up and I will be danged! Those black birds would pull the new corn out of the ground!
I have put chicken wire over them now but I also have CD's hung up to keep the birds away. That hasn't even fazed them.

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  squaredeal on 6/12/2011, 10:45 pm

I planted my first corn right about May 7th or so which is the ideal time for corn planting in this area. Its been hot here and we have had timely rains, so far. Perfect conditions for corn. The fields are late around here, but catching up fast, and the field corn is springing up quickly. At $8/bu futures price, every nook and cranny is filling up with corn.

I'm sorry about the birds. I also lost 1 plant per square, but thought it was due to poor germination and kept replanting. I guess the birds have so many other fields they can pick from they left mine alone.

However, there are so many ways to fail with corn, I am definitely not counting my ears before they silk! Lodging is my biggest concern now, so today I put up my horizonal trellis. We shall see.

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good luck with my corn

Post  southern gardener on 6/28/2011, 12:15 am

i have 42 squares of corn planted,with 4 per square. They all came up and are doing great. I built "covers" out of hardware cloth to go over all of my garden boxes, and it has really paid off as far as getting things off to a good start. They are about 8" high and completely cover the box. I like them because you can see the plants easily, water right through them and they still get plenty of sunlight. They are also sturdy enough to stand on their own, so there are no frames to deal with. When the plants start touching the covers, they are big enough to withstand a peck or two from the birds. My corn is about 2 months along, and is about 5' tall, just getting tassels and silk. I wish I could post a picture to show, but the directions given in the forum dont work for me Mad Mad

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  NHGardener on 6/28/2011, 7:14 am

What are the covers for? I have my garden area fenced off.

My corn remains lackluster, and remains about 6" high. Forget it. I'm thinking inadequate nitrogen in the soil. After this season is over, having been my first season, I plan to beef up my soil - I have several yellow-tinged plants, whether bean or corn or whatever. Nothing is really thriving in my 5 boxes. And I used several types of compost, mixed w/peat and verm. Maybe the peat was too concentrated, but I tried to fluff it and measure well. I'm thinking some of the composts may just have been bad, or maybe there was too much peat in the composts, don't know. But I'm hoping to beef up with pure compost from a reputable source - maybe even manure, not sure yet.

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  camprn on 6/28/2011, 10:38 am

I would guess the covers are for keeping out critters. NHG, I am sad to hear things are yellow and not thriving, I know how disappointing it is. I had a similar problem and I sprinkled lightly, dried blood and top dressed with homemade compost that was not entirely composted. I think I applied the dried blood every 2-3 weeks until bloom on some things, but through the growing season on leafy vegetables. I also tried to not over water.
Last year I bought a large bag (50#+) of the dried blood at Horse and Buggy Blue Seal store. I use it frequently to give the heavy feeders a boost. I still have quite a bit of it and I think the bag will make it through season 2.

TPell, to the Forum!!!
Did you see this thread with
instructions to post photos from your computer. <~~~CLICK ME

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  southern gardener on 6/28/2011, 12:19 pm

yes, the covers are to keep the critters out, and let the plants get a good start. I agree about the compost being the culprit. We bought our daughter MM for Christmas, and her garden is THRIVING with minimal attention. We set our garden 2 months later, and must have gotten a different compost mixture, because we are really struggling to get the plants healthy looking. Anything she puts in her garden takes off, and grows to maturity in no time! It's now turned into a joke! I planted onions from sets, and they never bulbed out, she planted some from seed, and grew 4 onions while mine just sat!!

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  Goosegirl on 6/28/2011, 1:29 pm

My corn is about 8" high and a good healthy green - it just needs some HEAT! It has only been 60's to occasional 70's here. We are supposed to be in the mid-80's by tomorrow and 90+ by Thursday, so by the weekend I may have corn shooting for the sky. The cayenne pepper seems to have deterred Bunny Foo Foo from nibbling.

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  NHGardener on 6/28/2011, 4:18 pm

tpellerino, you sure made me feel better. Smile

and camprn, I do have a bag of blood/bone meal here, I think I will sprinkle that liberally on these babies and see what happens. Couldn't hurt. I do believe your suggestion to dowse my tomato plants with potash probably helped them along. I'll have to get out there and take some photos, altho I'm a little embarrassed about the weeds around them, I haven't had a chance to weed my walkways lately... My weeds are absolutely thriving.

btw camprn, I went to a beekeeper workshop over the weekend. Wow, there's so much to learn, and they do entail a lot of work, esp. with debugging mite issues, etc. I'll be anxious to hear how your crew does.

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Corn

Post  TLH on 8/15/2011, 8:31 pm

My corn came up and is now about 5' tall. It is getting tassels, BUT I have no ears. I planted 1 stalk per square so it would get more sun this year. Last year I planted 4 per square and it was spindly, but we did get a FEW small cobbs.

We did better without Mel's soil mix. My husband is just about ready to change the soil back to regular top soil.

What can I do to get better corn?

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  FamilyGardening on 8/16/2011, 12:58 am

@TLH wrote:My corn came up and is now about 5' tall. It is getting tassels, BUT I have no ears. I planted 1 stalk per square so it would get more sun this year. Last year I planted 4 per square and it was spindly, but we did get a FEW small cobbs.

We did better without Mel's soil mix. My husband is just about ready to change the soil back to regular top soil.

What can I do to get better corn?



the tassels come before the ears do....Very Happy i have read that in a reg garden ( not a SFG) when you start to see the tassels you are to feed the plant with some fert.....i use fish em....corn's are heavy feeders....im growing mine in a three sisters garden in reg soil.....you could try and feed yours in your SFG and see if that helps Very Happy

hugs

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  auntij on 8/16/2011, 10:43 am

I planted my corn kind of hilly nilly hehe it is super tall and looks awesome. I picked a few cobs the other day and they were gnarly. I was going to blame earwigs for my freakish looking corn until I did some more searching. It was my fault! Yes there I said it! I did it, I deformed my corn. I have been away a lot this summer for work, so my garden didn't get watered the way it should have (my daughter who is 19 just doesn't have the same love for my garden as I do). So basically if I had been able to water it routinely, I would have had some amazing plants. But alas I chose to pay bills over watering. Next year I WILL have amazing corn!

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Re: Any tips on getting corn to thrive?

Post  Nonna.PapaVino on 8/16/2011, 11:45 am

TLH, Check out one of your corn plants that is tasseling, look down the stalk, I'll bet a bit above mid-way you'll see a swelling on the stalk. It's a sign the corn is "pregnant" with an embryonic ear. Very soon you should see some silk emerging from this swelling, ready to receive the pollen grains that will shortly be shed. Share this with any kids you have about, they'll love learning about how corn grows. Nonna

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