One of the easiest and funnest vegetables the kids and I grow is corn. This will be our seventh season growing it so I’d like to tell you what I’ve learned so far, and why I think YOU should add corn to your garden too.
- Easy to grow
- It’s delicious!
- Freezes well
- You can hand pollinate it (rare, but helpful)
- Glass gem corn makes beautiful decor
- Add dried corn stalks to your Fall decorations
- Goats and other animals love corn husks as a treat
In addition, I like growing it for our kids since they have so much fun picking and shucking it. My daughter will tackle multiple ears of corn on the garden bench without me even asking her too!
She’s a natural! ^^The goats and rabbit appreciated the husks too^^
Freshly sowed seed. 🙂
To successfully grow corn plant it when all signs of frost are gone. You can start seed in a greenhouse or cold frame if you want an early harvest, but as long as you sow the seed directly into the ground by mid-May here in Colorado, you’ll have a nice harvest by the end of Summer/early Fall.
It requires a place in the garden that receives full sunlight and has soil enriched with compost (or the store bought stuff). I also use manure.
Make sure to keep weeds from in-between the rows until you can’t squeeze in-between them anymore. Planting squash around corn is a trick used to suppress weeds and retain moisture… You can learn more about it here: Three sisters companion planting
Make sure you grow in blocks instead of rows. Corn is pollinated when the wind blows so it needs to be bunched together for the most success. The picture above is 4 rows wide but I’ve done up to 16 rows in my larger garden.
As the tassels begin to form so will the ears. Make sure you’re consistently watering but from here until harvest it’s the most important.
This is a corn tassel. It forms on the top of the stalk towards the end of summer.
As the wind blows the pollen on the tassel sprinkles down and pollinates the hair on top of the ear which is called Silk.
Some of the time a stalk will give you two ears. If that’s the case then you’re providing great growing conditions! 🙂
Once the silk is dark brown it’s ready to harvest. Alternatively, peel back the husk and stab a kernel and if the kernel gives you a white milky substance you’re also good to harvest.
Corn has been a great addition to our garden. It’s ornamental, delicious, and can serve as home or Fall decor! It’s very hardy and can even withstands hail storms. Just make sure you take note of the preferred growing conditions and you’ll be set; plenty of sunlight, rich soil, consistent watering, and keep the weeds away.
“Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later!”
True in so many ways………
This is a variety I grew in 2017. Although this one isn’t edible, you should’ve seen the look on Belle’s face when she shucked it!
I dried it out and use it as Fall decoration now. 🙂
There’s a bunch of dried cornstalks in the back there…
Oh Hey! And my natural hair color! 🙂
And the cutest of all, my mini-me reaping the rewards of growing corn! ❤
Glass Gem & Sweet Corn
My favorite seed company is Burpee… you can find their seed packets at any Home Depot or Lowe’s, sometimes even Target and the grocery store. There are three sweet corn varieties I look for every year:
- Farm Fresh Hybrid – produces sugar enhanced 7-8″ ears
- Triple Crown XP Bicolor Hybrid – produces supersweet, large ears
- Buttercream Hybrid – produces sugar enhanced ears and stores well
The other company I like is SherwoodsSeeds on Etsy. They’re out of Fallsington, Pennsylvania and sell Glass Gem corn seeds in addition to many others.. you can find their website here: SherwoodsSeeds – Etsy