My iGarden website
** Side Note: May’s Drought monitor report shows Oklahoma panhandle and southwestern Oklahoma are in an exceptional drought. Western half of the state except for the northwest is in extreme drought while the northwest and central Oklahoma reported in severe drought.
Corn, known as Maize to many people in some countries. Thought to have been domesticated 8,700 to 12,000 years ago. It was grown commercially as early as 1700 – 1250 BCE, for food and used in trading in central America. Maize (corn) soon spread to all corners of south and central America.
**There are hundreds of different varieties of Maize (Corn). Some grow to the amazing height being over 36 feet tall. Most common field corn reaches a mature height of 8 to 10 feet tall and sweet corn is a generally a bit shorter at 5 to 6 feet tall at maturity.
Today, only two general types of corn are grown commercially, ‘Field’ corn, which is grown as a grain product and is not harvested until the corn has dried on the cob. It is then processed and used in the production of ethanol, livestock feeds, food products, corn meal, flakes, oil, syrup, flour and as an additive to many other food products.
The other type is ‘sweet’ corn intended to be consumed fresh as a vegetable and as products like canned whole kernel corn and creamed corn.
If your one of those people horrified by genetically modified foods, and you consume any form of corn or corn by product, your most likely consuming a genetically modified product. 85 percent of corn grown in the United States and Canada is a genetically modified crop.
As a home gardener I am mainly concerned with growing ‘sweet’ corn. Corn is an open, self pollinated crop. Corn is wind pollinated, so plant four or more short rows of sweet corn side-by-side rather than one or two long rows. This will help insure good pollination and ear development. Inadequate pollination results in poorly filled ears.
Sweet corn is available as yellow, white, or bi-colored types. Cultivars vary in their days to maturity, they are classified as early, mid, and late season. Late season cultivars generally are the best quality.
Corn is a shallow rooted crop easily damaged by high winds or excessive soil moisture. Apply 3 to 4 pounds of 12-12-12 or similar analysis fertilizer per 100 square feet to establish a basic fertility level. Side-dressing with a high nitrogen fertilizer late in the growing season is also advisable.
Sweet corn is a warm season crop requiring a minimum soil temperature of 50°F (60-95°F is optimum) for seed germination. Seed should not be planted earlier than 10 days to 2 weeks after the average date of the last killing frost. If planted too early, poor stands may result. Plant the kernels 1 inch deep in heavy soils and no deeper than 2 inches in very light sandy soils. Space the rows 2 to 3 feet apart. Plant early cultivars 8 to 10 inches apart in the row and late cultivars 9 to 12 inches apart.
It is very important to harvest sweet corn at the proper stage of maturity. The critical time is the milk stage, a stage when the juice in the kernel appears milky when you puncture the kernel with your thumbnail. Sweet corn remains in the milk stage for a relatively short period, so check the ears frequently. Corn that is too young will ooze a watery material, while ears that are too old will have a tough, doughy kernel. During the milk stage, the unhusked ear should feel firm, have full kernels at the tip of the ear, and have brown, dry silks. Generally, ears should be ready about three weeks from silking time.
After picking, use the sweet corn immediately for fresh eating, canning, or freezing. At high temperatures, the sugar in sweet corn is quickly converted to starch, giving it a bland taste. Although many new cultivars have extended storage quality, most older cultivars will lose 50% of their flavor within 12 hours of picking if left unrefrigerated. If sweet corn must be stored before use, keep the temperature as close to 32°F as possible.
Why is common sense so uncommon?
Don’t be shy. Leave me your comment(s)