- Author: Brenda Altman
The nice thing about gardening like baseball is there is always a new season right around the corner. The cry “Wait ‘til Next Year” can be heard everywhere. And just like baseball, you can always improve your team. Do you need to platoon your crops? Do you need to reassess your support: water, location, soil, fertilizer, or squirrel protection? Do you need new players: seeds, starter plants, or grafts?
Alas, you're stuck as coach and manager, but you can learn new tricks!
This year I'm going to try corn. Here a tassel there a tassel let's get some corn.
I needed a new ballpark. I decided that the corn if not planted together in tight rows pollination would be spotty. I needed a dedicated spot. I cleared out a spot right next to my compost pile and built a raised bed. The area gets both the early morning sun and most of the afternoon sun. It should be ideal for corn.
The next step was to add soil and amendments. Corn does best in soil alive with beneficial organisms. I plan to put some of the composted materials into the corn plot. It probably could use a healthy population of red worms. During the growing season, the corn will need additional nitrogen; I plan to use a mixture of chicken and worm casings once a week during the growing season.
Corn pollinates by the wind. As the tassels blow in the wind the pollen falls onto the silks. Unpollinated ears will not produce corn. The idea is to space the corn together about 8” to 12” apart. This should be ideal for pollination.
Okay, it's time to build up the soil and grab that shovel the season starts when the soil warms up to 65F. It will be my field of dreams. If I build it corn will grow.
Further reading and source materials:
How to grow: Corn (UC Davis Vegetable Research and Information Center)
Soil Requirements for growing corn/ EcoFarming Daily https.//ecofamilydaily.com/grow-corn/soil-requirements
GardenZeus Secrets of Success for Growing Corn in the California Home Garden https://www.gardenzeus.com/garden zeus-secrets-corn-home-garden/