Corn Problems: Growing Goonies Corn

| 7/20/2010 7:48:04 PM

A photo of Drew OdomCorn needs nitrogen rich soil with a neutral pH to grow. Corn is wind pollinated and does best planted in blocks rather than in rows (despite traditional methods). Corn needs a fair amount of water and does best when watered by natural, nitrogen-rich, rain.

The corn we planted this year (for the first time mind you) was planted in poorly composted and fed soil; not to mention tight, crisp, clay soil. It was planted in long rows; two varieties – North Carolina sweet and common field corn. Our corn received only 9 total days of rain since planted on April 10 and 11. The rest of the water came from sprinklers set for an hour every 3 days.

The result was less than we had hoped for.

Goonie Corn

Today I realized that several of our stalks were completely ready to be stripped; tassles were browning and cobs were rounded rather than pointed. The only problem was many of the cobs were a bit soft and showed signs of Earworms and Armyworms. I had mixed reactions for sure. I was pleased that we had, in fact, grown corn – tall stalks even. But I was not pleased that so much of our corn was useless. It was bittersweet.

After about 35 minutes or so of picking I brought the basket of husks up to Pan and presented her with the cobs of our labor; full of pride, full of appreciation, and somewhat full of apologies. I had promised her earlier in the season that this year we wouldn’t have to supplement our freezer with purchased corn from other local farmers. I told her we would have our own corn!

7/26/2010 11:52:13 AM

@Shannon - You are absolutely right. Until it is eaten and in your is an experiment on a natural scale! Good luck with yours. Keep us posted!

S.M.R. Saia
7/26/2010 11:22:30 AM

Hmmn...this is our first year with corn too....also in rows, also in clay soil, also rain supplemented with the sprinkler...also impressively've got me wondering. You've also given me something to go by in determining whether or not the cobs are ready to harvest. Thanks. Sorry about your corn. But, hey, in the garden, everything's an experiement. Right?????

Mountain Woman
7/23/2010 12:46:40 PM

Yup, Andrew, much better! Can't wait to tell Mountain Man tonight about my adventures in the garden. Thanks for the smiles today. LOL!