anyone grow corn?

novice_2009(zone 6b)June 16, 2009

I don't do SFG actually, but am growing a lot this year in a small garden. I divided the garden into four sections, each roughly about 5 ft. by 5ft. I'm using old barn boards to separate and as pathways. In one section, I have bush beans growing nicely, and planted corn which has sprung up.

Wondering if anybody has grown corn in such a small space?

Anybody had success with it? I planted a block, surrounded by bean plants, with a few bean plants in the middle.

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sinfonian(U8b A2 S5 SeaWA)

Corn needs a ton of sun for each stalk. Less causes problems maturing ears. That was my experience last year with spacing stalks 4 inches apart in 8 inch rows. Of course Seattle gets less sun.

Good luck

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 4:15PM
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Dan Staley

We did it in the SFG last year because the MIL really wanted corn. Never do it again. The amount of space it occupies (including casting shadows) is not worth it IMHO.


    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 4:26PM
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I have some planted and I love it. They are about 4 1/2 to 5 ft tall. I don't have any blooms or whatever they are called yet. I have them on the far side of the garden so it doesn't cast any shadows on other plants. I also have them staggered. I have 4 squares that were planted at once, but then I have others planted weeks apart.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 4:34PM
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I did it for the first time and so far it has turned out well. I planted it 4 per sqf along the northern 8 foot row. It does not shade any other plants and only takes up 8 sqf. I also planted pole beans to climb the corn stalks and this has worked well. I have only harvested 6 ears and they were mostly pollinated. A couple of them had some rows of kernels that didn't get pollenated but the others were nice full ears. I did my best to help out with the pollination since I read that corn should really be planted in blocks and not rows. I think I did pretty good for my first time. There are plenty of ears left to be picked but they are at differing stages.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 5:03PM
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I planted 4/sf and they seem to be doing great. The only problem I have is we had a really nasty storm last night with 60+ mph winds and about 1/3 of it was blown over. Most of it looks like it'll recover, but some of it definitely won't. It's starting to tassel so we'll see pretty soon.

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 11:22PM
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I planted about 4'x 5' last year with marginal (but tasty) results. I planted 1/sf I think but due to poor germination, I had to replant, so I may not have had enough tasseling at the same time. I had more ears that were partially pollinated than fully pollinated.

Last year, I watched the wind blow the 2' tall corn flat to the ground but it survived fine and grew some really strong roots. I tried to pull a stalk in the fall to see how deep the roots were and it was really anchored in there. I don't think I actually got one out. I'm not using Mel's mix so YMMV.

This year, I looked for a variety that gave closer planting instructions and planted 4/sf. It's just now sprouting so I can't offer any insight yet into this season.

Here is a link that might be useful: Tales of a Transplanted Gardener

    Bookmark   June 17, 2009 at 2:55AM
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I planted a lot of corn last year, and it got only about 2-2.5 ft high before tasseling. It did produce tiny but tasty ears on some stalks. But it did not produce much corn given the amount of space devoted to corn in the garden.

This year tried it in the square foot garden - just one square with 4 corn plants. One plant died at a few inches high. The others are now about 2.5 ft high, with one small ear on each stalk. When it gets a little bigger, I will try eating it.

Gave the corn much more compost this year than last, but I guess it was still not enough...

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 1:22PM
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I've got mine in beds about 4' by ....I dunno...maybe 10+ feet or so. I planted out from winter-sown starts on or about Memorial Day, and again early last week. I usually have them planted in traditional rows ~ two feet apart with plants about 1 foot apart. This year I've got the bed planted at 8" spacing all around. Here's how it's going "so far." Will keep posted on progress. I think I planted Bi-Color Hybrids and either Super Sweet something-or-other or Sugar Dots.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 2:00PM
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I found two corns tassling or blooming ears! It looked like wheat but green! I am so excited! I have no idea where the other ears will come from since it is coming out of the middle of the stalk. I think my corn is about 5 1/2 ft to 6 ft high. I planted golden bantam corn.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 3:35PM
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I planted an entire 4' in sweet corn and the results are less than good.I have corn that is 2' high and corn that is 6" high,all planted at the same time.Thinking I had bad seed I planted 4 conventional rows of the same corn and every seed has sprouted at the same time.
I also am not using Mel's mix in the boxes due to cost constraints and not being able to find everything I needed locally.

    Bookmark   June 19, 2009 at 9:23PM
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The tassel at the top of the stalk produces the pollen. The ears of corn grow lower on the stalk. Usually corn produces 1 or 2 ears per stalk I think. The pollen falls from the tassels (hopefully) onto the silks. Each silk produces one kernal of corn on the ear. That's why poor pollination leads to ears of corn that are not completely filled out (like mine last year).

Here is a link that might be useful: Tales of a Transplanted Gardener

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 2:57AM
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Another thing to be careful of with regard to pollination is that some hybrid varieties will do better if you plant another variety of the same type (eg- se, su, sh2) nearby. The seed packet or catalog description should explain whether you need to plant two varieties. For example, ruby queen (se) does better with a companion, so I planted it with Kandy Korn (se).

    Bookmark   June 20, 2009 at 10:30AM
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I've got a box totally devoted to corn, but so far I'm pretty disappointed with the results. I can't seem to keep enough water on it. The leaves keep curling even after I water daily. I also have a ton of tassles, but NO silks. I guess I'll just have to resort to the supermarket and local farmer's market if I want fresh corn. :(


    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 3:42PM
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novice_2009(zone 6b)

thanks everybody for your insights. When I told people I was doing corn in a garden my size they looked at me like I was crazy! Even if the results aren't great, I've learned something right? I'll know whether or not to try it next year. thanks again!

    Bookmark   June 21, 2009 at 3:50PM
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I didn't put mine in the SFG, but I did put them in containers where they would get full sun. They're pretty tall now but the FALL OVER real easy like. I've had to stake them up a bit with twine. In a SFG, I don't think the roots have enough depth to hold them upright.

Here is a link that might be useful: The Corner Yard

    Bookmark   June 22, 2009 at 6:52AM
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Hey Ribbit, mine is in 6 inches of soil and they are standing just fine. I havent had to steak one and I had one blow over last night in some high winds, and this morning, I just pushed him back up and packed soil around the bottom. He is fine so....I dunno. I think they work great! I planted some sunflowers around the corn and they aren't doing too well. I wonder if it is because I planted them so late they are shaded too much by the corn or what, but my neighbor is growing them just fine. They are almost as tall as my corn.

Here is a link that might be useful: Jen's Victory Garden Blog

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 10:56AM
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I used a cattle panel bent into a U-shape and stuck in the ground to help keep my corn from falling over. I wasn't having a problem with it, but I read in Mel's book it could be an issue.

I've forgotten how to post pics to the forum, but you can see some on my blog.


Here is a link that might be useful: LookMaNoWeeds

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 12:55PM
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I tried planting corn in my square foot garden for two years in a row with limited success -- pollination was always iffy. Then I discovered minicorn -- you know, the oriental stuff. Found some in a catalog. Planted it 9 to a square. The stuff grew 4' tall and produced 3-5 ears per stalk. No need to worry about pollination, you harvest the ears young BEFORE they are pollinated and eat the WHOLE EARS cobb and all.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2009 at 1:33PM
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Knock on wood....I hope I don't curse myself, but my corn seems to be doing great. It's in an 4x8 raised bed along with my beans. I started the seed the last day of May, and here it is almost a month later. It's well above knee high.

    Bookmark   June 26, 2009 at 12:51PM
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