Return to the Square Foot Gardening Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Corn in sfg-how deep do roots need to grow?

Posted by growingup Tucson, AZ (My Page) on
Wed, Mar 5, 08 at 22:37

My sfg is only 4x4. I plan this season, only using it for corn. When plotting out my garden (we increased it and changed some things around), I decided to put a mesh screen under the raised bed. Should this be removed before I plant the corn? The bed sits on dirt that is very hard and has rocks in it, but if the roots need that space to grow, they'd at least have a fighting chance. Or, can the screen stay and the corn do just fine?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Corn in sfg-how deep do roots need to grow?

How deep are your raised beds?

Here is a link that might be useful: Judy's Square Foot Garden Blog


 o
RE: Corn in sfg-how deep do roots need to grow?

I can tell you what happened to my corn that I grew the first year I tried it. First, I planted 4 per square. All came up and were looking very good. They were about 7' tall. Almost every stalk had 2 stalks growing on them. I came out one afternoon after a fierce wind storm to find them all "leveled." How deep your raised beds are is one factor. The other main factor, a key one, is that this soil is so loose and friable, a strong wind can ruin it because corn roots are not that deep-even if you have a deep bed. The particular box that this corn grew in is very deep. I did come up with a way to stop that however, and the next year we had over 100 ears of corn in one 4X4 box....


 o
RE: Corn in sfg-how deep do roots need to grow?

How do you keep a turkey in suspense? ... Tell ya tomorrow...

Ok Snibb, I'll bite, for those of use planting corn in a deep raised bed, how do you keep wind from leveling the 6-7 foot plants prior to harvesting?

Here is a link that might be useful: Sinfonian's garden adventure


 o
RE: Corn in sfg-how deep do roots need to grow?

Sin....now, that is funny!
Here is what you do:1)go out and get 1/2" rebar that is about 4 ft long. You can either buy them or get them from construction sites free(my method!)2)You then pound this rebar in each corner of your 4X4-or whatever you are growing in.3)Plant your corn.4)Before it starts to really grow, you take some of that nylon netting you can buy at Home Depot or Lowes, and stretch it across the rebar so it is nice and taught. You do this at about 1 1/2'ft.5)You put another piece of nylon at about the 3' level. So, now you have two horizontal pieces of nylong that the corn can easily grow through, and, you wont have to come out one day and see it blown over. I do this same thing for big things like potatoes, different types of flowers. It really helps keep your garden nice and tidy-without everything flopping all over the place....


 o
RE: Corn in sfg-how deep do roots need to grow?

I wouldn't think the mesh would be a problem for corn, especially if the mesh holes are big enough for roots to go through.

Someone else is going to have to say how deep roots go, but if you've got 8 or more inch deep beds, I'd say go for it.

Snibb, thanks, now to decide if I really need to do this or if I'm worried about wind knocking down my stalks... I may be building a cage worthy of a WWF wrestling match to keep raccoons out, so if I do I could easily do the nylon netting also.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sinfonian's gardening adventure


 o
RE: Corn in sfg-how deep do roots need to grow?

Just bank up some dirt around the bottom of the corn when it gets about 8 inches tall. Cover it about half way up the stalk. This will help keep the corn stable, grow a stronger root system and will "feed" the plant more nutrients. A small patch of corn can be detroyed by extream winds (but so can your home). Even a field of corn can be damaged if the wind is strong enough. I had two rows only 10 ft. long one year and the wind bent it all over. I just straighted it back up and tapped the soil around the base. No problem. Planting corn in a square pattern protects it too and helps with polination. On the farm, we used to grow acres of corn and we absolutely had to "bank" the corn in order to get a good crop. Certainly this is much easier and less expensive than rebar.


 o
RE: Corn in sfg-how deep do roots need to grow?

It certainly will be less expensive than rebar but it wont work in a SFG with soil of compost, vermiculite, and peat moss. You can go and bank up all summer, but it wont work-the soil it too loose for that. If you have soil with more dirt in it I'm sure your method will be ok. These winds were probably 50-60 MPH, and they don't blow homes over. The wind ripped the corn roots out, so I couldn't even go out and bank it. Four pieces of rebar in a garden box is not that expensive to help protect your crop...I think your probably talking about farming-Im talking about home gardening which are 2 entirely different things....


 o
RE: Corn in sfg-how deep do roots need to grow?

Snibb, you may be right. I plant my corn in the ground near my raised beds. I suppose the compost, soil in the raised beds is too loose. But if I got 50 mph winds, I don't think any corn would stand too long in that. I still suggest banking some dirt around it like I explained, if for no other reason than to give it a little extra nutrition. It just seems to do better. Good luck.


 o
RE: Corn in sfg-how deep do roots need to grow?

alan...I know what you mean..however, my corn has not blown over in this same wind for the past 2 years...


 o
RE: Corn in sfg-how deep do roots need to grow?

I'd like to know the answer to the original question. How deep do corn roots grow? In inches please? Ball park figure in inches?


 o
RE: Corn in sfg-how deep do roots need to grow?

Corn roots grow a MINIMUM of 8 inches deep sometime as far as several feet


 o
RE: Corn in sfg-how deep do roots need to grow?

corn root go a MINIMUM of 8 inches down sometime as far as several feet


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Square Foot Gardening Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here