From the Desk of Ed Hume: It’s Time to Think About Planting Corn

May 7, 2012 at 12:00 AM Leave a comment

One of the favorite vegetables at the Hume household is corn!  It takes up quite a bit of space in the garden, but it’s sure hard to beat the fresh flavor and full nutritional value of corn picked fresh from your own garden.  Some varieties of corn taste like starch after an hour or two, so I like to recommend you have the water almost boiling before you go out and pick the corn.  That way you are assured the best possible flavor.

It seems like everyone has their favorite variety of corn.  We have two: Kandy Korn and Peaches and Cream.  Honey Select is another variety Ed Hume Seeds features, and it won an Outstanding Award a few years ago in the Skagit Vegetable Trials.  If you like an old fashioned variety that’s not too sweet, try Early Sunglow.  Varieties like Bodacious, Earlivee, Frostry White, Golden Cross Bantam, Jubilee, Sugar Buns, and Trinity are also favorites with home gardeners.

Prepare the planting soil by adding organic humus such as compost or well-rotted manure, mixing them thoroughly with your existing soil.  Then add the correct amount (as specified on the label) of ‘Vegetable’ or an ‘All-Purpose’ garden fertilizer.

Now you are ready to sow the seeds. Run the rows in a north/south direction for best sunlight exposure and good air circulation.  Sow the seeds about 4 to 6 inches apart and about 1 inch deep, then when the seedling plants are about two inches high thin them to 8 to 12 inches apart.  Thinned plants can be replanted to another part of the garden or used to fill in any bare spots.  If you have a large garden, space the rows about 2 to 3 feet apart.  If you have a small garden, conserve space by planting in blocks.  Make short rows, thinning the seedling plants 8 to 12 inches apart in all directions.  For example, in four feet wide raised beds we thin our corn to 12 inches apart in all directions, making four close rows in the 4 feet wide raised bed.

We have a friend that grows corn commercially.  In his fields he has had problems with raccoons pulling over the corn stocks and eating the ears of corn.  He found a solution, which was to plant pumpkins between the rows of corn.  The pumpkin leaves grow high enough that the raccoon’s scout (the raccoon in charge of looking for predators) cannot see over the pumpkin foliage, so they leave the corn alone.

Corn benefits from a feeding of nitrogen applied around the 4th of July.

It is ready to be harvested when the kernels mature, color-up, and the corn ears begin to pull-away (at the top) from the main (stem) stock. Or, you can pull back a little of the silk and check the color and maturity of the kernels.

For more information on growing corn, I invite you visit our web site


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Clip of the Week: Grooming Houseplants From the Desk of Ed Hume: Sowing Seeds of Warm Weather Vegetables

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