Growing Corn in Arkansas

advisingelf(7)April 13, 2011

Hey all! Any pointers on growing corn in the Ozarks of Arkansas? I square foot garden mostly, and have some corn right now (started in my greenhouse, which I just uncoverd this weekend) in a small 3 Sisters setup, but I'm considering planting a lot more.

It may just be temporary insanity. I previously grew corn by itself and I fed a lot of corn borers with it. I ended up with 4 half-ears out of 16 plants (one full 4x4 square bed). The Arkansas Cooperative Extension website gives info for commercial growers, but I didn't find it helpful for an amateur, except the advice to plant early because late summer has the worst problems.

Other than doing the 3 Sisters thing, any advice other than just using gobs of insecticide (which is basically what was recommended by ArCoopExt)?

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I have grown sweet corn for years and never have enough of a problem to do anything about the worms....I have some damage but not much.

I plant once the ground warms up. For me that is in early May. I do rows about 2.5 to 3 feet wide and at least 4 rows for pollination. Corn is wind pollinated so better more rows and shorter rather than say two long rows. I don't like the square foot thing for corn because it is hard to get to the ears for picking.

I have no secrets other than pick a good variety with very tight husks which helps deter the borers. I have planted Bodacious, Kandy Korn and a bicolor with good success. I think Honey and Pearl is touted as having very tight husks.

I am planting Bodacious this year.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   April 13, 2011 at 5:38PM
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Thanks for the info. It's encouraging to hear that you didn't have any major problems.

I don't know about tight husks, though, at least for the borer problems I had. They bored right through the husks to the ear. I guess that's how they got thier name.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2011 at 3:47PM
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advisingelf The other problem with the square foot method for corn is that it doesn't allow enough space. 16 plants in a 4x4 ft bed is very crowded. I would try half that many and see what happens.

We have grown Kandy Korn for years in a plot that is 2000sq feet. Get 600-700 ears, depending on the year.

Corn is a heavy feeder. We use chicken manure mixed with pine shavings--the litter from the chicken house and a light scattering of woodashes.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2011 at 6:32PM
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