Planted the corn

mulberryknobApril 7, 2011

DH tilled the spot for corn last Friday and opened the trenches to plant on Tues morn. It was so dry that we watered the trenches good before dropping the soaked seed into them. Today the Coronado Broccoli goes in. I've never grown this variety so hope it does well. Also have some Gypsy which I've never grown before. Now if it would just rain!!

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I have started overnight soaked corn seeds in flat tray with promix on 3/30, all seeds germinated, now showing half inch epicotyl... that means they need to go in beds soon. This is also my first experiment. lets see success rate!

I have sown following seeds;

1. Early Sunglow (25 seeds)
2. Suger Dots hybrid (15 seeds)
3. Silver Queen (15 seeds)
4. Babycorn Chires (20 seeds)
5. Aztech (10 seeds)

What is best Spacing for all these corns? Is it productive to inter-crop with beans and squash?

What if I choose close spacing for corn and then plant squash and beans in separate bed, so that they won't compete each other for food and light?

I am looking for the best approach for optimum production of corn cobs, green bean and summer squash in limited space (raised beds).... MORE CROP PER DROP (water) and MORE CROP PER UNIT AREA...

I not intended grow corn and beans for fresh eating not for dry seeds. Three-sister method seems to be good for large areas with wider spacing and mainly grow dry corn/beans. I just wonder do you have any experience in growing them in raised beds for intensive gardening?

Thank you in advance-Chandra

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 11:55AM
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Sorry, Chandra, I don't have experience with 3 sisters or with limited space. We devote 2 1,000sq ft areas to corn, planting 8 fifty ft rows in one and 7 in the other a couple weeks later. The only thing we interplant with corn is sweet potatoes. We devote one 50 ft row in the middle of one area to sweet potatoes and they produce well, making most of their growth after the corn is harvested in July. There will probably be someone come along who can answer your questions.

We raise Kandy Korn and plant two seeds together a foot apart and then thin to one plant. We run a soaker hose between every two rows and only walk on pathways between the beds, each of 2 rows.

    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 9:27PM
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Chandra - at the advice of Dawn & several others I grew Early Sunglow last year in a 3-sisters type setting. Planted 2 other types, too. Early Sunglow was the ONLY one I got any harvest from...and I only planted winter squash (butternut) with it...which got consumed by the evil Squash Bugs. I've been told that their stalks aren't strong enough to support bean vines, but it's worth a try. Seems the worms & moths tend to attack any other corn crop in our area since they produce later than the Early Sunglow. Just my 2 cents...and we're only about 5 miles apart. I think Dorothy's suggestion of sweet potatoes as a ground crop is a great one! Wish I'd thought of that last year!


    Bookmark   April 7, 2011 at 11:27PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


You're planting so many kinds of corn that I'm afraid to touch this question with a 10-foot-pole because of their different growth rates.

To me, growing corn in a raised bed is completely different from raising corn in a Three Sisters garden.

When I raise corn in a raised bed, I plant one plant per square foot.

When I plant a Three Sisters style garden, I don't do it in a raised bed and I use wider spacing. My Three Sisters Garden is grown in improved clay that is not in raised beds because a Three Sisters garden uses quite a lot of water. (Raised beds dry out more quickly than in-ground plantings do.)

For the spacing with a Three Sisters Garden, I use slightly wider spacing and plant my squash (I use Seminole pumpkin and butternut squash usually) around the perimeter. It will creep into the corn, which helps keep the raccoons out. Growing beans on corn works well if you plant huge monster corn, but not well on corn like Sunglow that stays short and produces early. You probably could plant half-runner beans which stay shorter. I've switched from growing pole beans on the cornstalks most years to growing on the nearby fence or to planting beans with the corn only after the corn is waist high.

When I grow different varieties of corn, I plant them as far from one another as possible to reduce the chance of cross-pollination, and I grow sunflowers between them as a barrier.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 7:17AM
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owiebrain(5 MO)

Dawn, how does the squash work to keep out the racoons? And does the squash on the east and north sides of the corn still get enough sun to do well? I'm considering doing the same thing this year (squash on the perimeter, not three sisters) so I'm being nosy.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 9:51AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Diane, The raccoons don't like the rough, coarse, often sort of prickly leaves of vining squash plants. Some years it works and I get all the corn. Some years it doesn't work and the racoons get all the corn. It is one of those things that you do in case in works, but there's no guarantee. It also depends on how hungry the raccoons are.

This year, when my corn is 5 or 6 days away from the milk stage, I'm going to buy some frozen corn, thaw it out and sprinkle it with tabasco sauce. Then I'll put a few ears out on the ground near the corn patch each night. Hopefully the raccoons will taste it, won't like it and will think all my corn is like that. Then, maybe they'll leave my corn crop alone. It doesn't hurt to try, it might work, and maybe I'll get more corn than them this year. The raccoons are already visiting the yard looking for yummy goodies, so it is going to be a really long year (and in drought, all the wildlife is hungry as you know, and they'll go to greater lengths than usual to eat our crops).

I would love to put up an electric poulty netting fence around them, but with grasses so dry, etc., I dare not. I just know it would somehow spark a fire (we go to a lot of summertime fires started by electric fences) and burn up the 197 bales of last year's hay that I have for mulch this year. I did think about using the hay bales to build a wall around the garden but I'm sure the raccoons would climb it in no time flat.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 10:02AM
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Thank you Dawn, Dorothy, Paula,
From all your suggestions, looks like growing corn separately then inter-cropping with sweet potatoes seems to be best in my case. I will plant pole beans and squashes on cattle panel trellis.

Diane, raccoons are afraid of spines in squash that is my guess LOL. -Chandra

    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 10:14AM
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I planted some Early Sunglow today. The way the year is starting out I think if may be the only type that will make before it is too hot and dry for anything to grow.


    Bookmark   April 8, 2011 at 4:05PM
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