Corn is one of the most popular crops in America. It is used for food, fuel, medicine and many other purposes. There are several varieties of corn grown in America today including: yellow, red, white and sweet corn. Each variety has its own characteristics which make it suitable or not for your particular needs.
Growing Corn Indoors
The first step to growing corn indoors is finding out if there are any laws prohibiting the practice of growing corn outdoors. If so, then you will need to follow these steps:
Find out where your local zoning board meets. You may have to contact the city government office directly. Check with your county government office too. Some counties have their own zoning boards and they meet at different times than the cities do.
Find out what type of ordinances apply to you in your area. They might include rules about planting, watering, harvesting and other issues related to farming. Contact the county or state agriculture department to see if there are any regulations that would prohibit you from growing corn. These departments usually have staff members who can tell you whether such restrictions exist in your area.
If none of these methods work, then you will need to look into growing corn outdoors yourself. You could try contacting a farmer who grows corn on his farm or even go to a farmers market and ask someone selling produce what kind of plants they use for their gardens. It is important that you follow all local laws for growing things outdoors. Most areas have restrictions on the use of plant growth hormones and other unnatural methods of growing plants.
Make sure you do your research before using these substances, as they could get you into legal trouble.
How to Grow Corn in Pots
Here are some basic questions about growing corn in pots that are answered in the article:
Q. I’m planning on growing sweet corn in pots.
Can you tell me how to go about this?
It’s certainly possible to grow sweet corn in pots, but you will have to be very dedicated and ready to do all the work that’s involved. Many people like to grow corn in pots so they can control the quality and quantity of the crop. However, others choose to leave the growing up to Mother Nature because it is much easier.
How do I prepare the pots?
You will want to use a standard potting soil for your containers. Add manure and compost to each container. This will give the plants what they need to grow up strong. Be sure that the pots have good drainage so that the water doesn’t collect at the bottom of the container and cause the roots to rot.
How do I plant corn in the containers?
Plant an ear of corn (also called sweet corn) in each container. You can try planting the seeds first, but you will have much better luck if you start the corn indoors a few weeks before you want to plant it. This will give it time to grow roots and store up food so that it’s ready to grow when you plant it in the ground.
What type of sunlight does corn need?
Sunlight is vital to the growth of corn plants. The plants should be placed in a location that receives full sun most of the day. If you are only able to plant your containers on the shaded side of your house, then you may need to use artificial light to help them grow. You can place the containers near a window that faces the sun or use a grow light.
How much water does corn need?
Water your corn twice a day. The soil should be watered until it begins to drain from the bottom of the container. Allow the soil to dry out before watering it again. You will need to do this for the first two weeks that your corn is growing. After that point, you can water it once a day.
How do I protect the ears of corn from animals?
There are many options for protecting your plants from hungry critters. The first thing you can do is place chicken wire over the top of the containers. This will allow air to circulate while keeping out most animals. You will still need to check it daily to make sure no one has dug their way in.
Another option is to place the containers where they can’t be reached. A deck or patio is a good location. Just remember that if there is a door or gate that leads to these areas, you will still need to protect your plants.
How do I harvest the corn?
Harvest the corn as soon as the ears are full size. This will prevent the corn from continuing to grow and getting tough and woody. Harvesting also causes the stalks to redirect energy towards producing full-sized cobs again rather than continuing to grow up tall.
There are a few ways that you can harvest the ears. You can carefully pull them out of the container and cut them off the stalk. Be careful not to damage the cob when you do this. You can also grab the stalk at the base and snap it off close to the ground.
If you do it right, this should remove the entire stalk and cob.
Once you have harvested the ears, you should continue to water and fertilize them for a few more weeks. This will keep the corn growing until it naturally dies off.
Why aren’t my plants growing?
There could be several reasons that your plants aren’t growing the way that they should.
You may not have watered them enough. You should water the pots every day for the first two weeks to make sure that the soil stays moist. Make sure you are using enough water to soak the soil but don’t over water it.
The other thing that could be wrong is that the containers are too big. Corn plants need to be grown in a container that doesn’t exceed 10 inches wide. Any bigger than that and they will not grow properly.
My corn has gotten limp on the stalks, is it dead?
Your corn may look dead, however it is still ok to eat. This condition is called “lodging”. Most of the time when this happens, it is because you planted your corn too deep. Once the stalk grows too big, it begins to fall over. The ears of corn will still be good to eat.
How do I save seeds so I don’t have to buy them every year?
Once the stalks of corn die off, you can begin harvesting the seeds. The first step is to remove all of the husks from the cobs. You will need to do this by hand. A good way to do this is to grab one corner of the husk and slowly pull it off in a downward motion. You will need to pull tightly so that it comes off of the cob.
Once you have removed all of the husks, you can begin removing the seeds from the cob. Place the cob in a container and use your hands to squeeze the remaining kernels from the cob. You can then place these in a container to store for next year.
If you are growing your corn indoors, you can stop watering it once the cobs are mature. Let them dry out and then remove the remaining seeds. Place them in a container and store them in a dark, cool place.
Sources & references used in this article:
Four noteworthy hyphomycetes from indoor environments by E Sandbeck – 2003 – Broadway
Growing indoor plants with success by DW Li, G Zhao, C Yang, A Jalsrai, B Kerin – Mycotaxon, 2013 – academia.edu
Effect of Pericarp Injury on Moisture Absorption, Fungus Attack, and Vitality of Corn 1 by SV Pennisi – 2009 – athenaeum.libs.uga.edu
Risk from inhaled mycotoxins in indoor office and residential environments by HW Alberts – Agronomy Journal, 1927 – dl.sciencesocieties.org
The southwestern corn borer by BJ Kelman, CA Robbins… – International Journal …, 2004 – journals.sagepub.com