How To Grow Corn From Seed?
Corn is one of the most popular crops grown in America. It is not only eaten but it’s also used in many different ways such as food, fuel, medicine, and much more. There are several varieties of corn available today which vary greatly in size and shape. Most types of corn have been bred over time to produce larger yields than their ancestors did when they were first cultivated thousands of years ago.
There are two main methods of growing corn: self-pollination or cross-pollination. Self-pollinating means that the seeds themselves are responsible for producing offspring. Cross-pollinated means that other plants are involved in the process of producing offspring. For example, if you want to grow sweet corn, then you need to cross your own ears with those of another person who grows sweet corn.
Cross-pollinated corn is known as “field” corn because it produces its offspring in fields rather than in enclosed spaces like barns. Field corn is generally smaller and less flavorful than self-pollinated corn. However, both types of corn can be harvested successfully even if they aren’t very large.
In order to grow your own self-pollinated or field-grown corn, you will need to purchase some seeds from a commercial source. It is important that you only use non-GMO seeds because GMO seeds are designed to produce sterile offspring. You will also need between one and three acres of land depending upon how many plants you want to grow. Ideally, you should plant your corn in a long, rectangular strip of land rather than in a large circle or square.
You will also need to prepare your soil by tilling it and removing rocks from the soil for a distance of one to two feet deep. This will ensure that the roots can reach the soil nutrients deep within the ground. Once this is finished, you should consider building a fence around your growing area. Corn plants are known to grow up to ten feet tall, and deer and other types of wildlife are known to eat corn. A fence will keep your plants safe from these dangers.
Once you have prepared the soil, it is time to plant your corn seeds. Each seed should be spaced approximately six to eight inches apart. The seeds will need to be placed in rows that are 30 inches apart, and each row should be 60 inches away from the next one. Once the seeds sprout, you can remove the tape that has been shading them from the sun (this tape is only necessary if you live in an area where the sun’s rays are particularly strong).
You will also need to water your plants daily, and you may need to run a hosepipe long enough so that it reaches the entire growth area. If your growing area gets too hot, you can create shade using burlap bags filled with leaves. This will protect your plants from burning their leafy parts.
Lastly, you should consider the care of your corn once it has grown. Corn naturally grows upwards. This means that it will try to grow towards the sun, which means that it will require staking. Your best option is to plant your corn next to a fence, as this will allow you to use wire to tie the plants to the fence as they grow. If you don’t have a fence available, then you can use wood to build a series of tall stakes.
You can then use the wood to tie the plants to the stakes as they grow.
If you follow all of the advice in this article, you should be able to grow your own field corn or self-pollinated corn. You will need to ensure that you continue watering and fertilizing your crop so that it stays strong and healthy. It will be ready to harvest in around three months, which is longer than most corn plants.
If you find that you’ve grown an abundance of corn, then you may need to find a way of storing it for long periods of time. Otherwise, it will start to go bad before you have a chance to use it all. It can either be stored as corn grain or as sweet corn. Sweet corn is best eaten soon after it is picked, but corn grain can last for several years before it begins to show signs of mold or rot.
Different Types of Corn
There are many different types of corn available for people to grow. The type of corn you choose to grow will usually depend upon your climate. For instance, sugar-enhanced sweet corns can only be grown in warmer climates because they need more heat to thrive. If you live in a cooler area, you may prefer to grow a natural type of sweet corn or even a dent corn.
Here is a list of the most common types of corn that can be grown:
Dent Corn: This type of corn has large kernels with a crease running down the middle of them. These creases are known as “dents”. They are most commonly grown in North America. Dent corns are mostly yellow, but other varieties include white, red and bi-colored.
Flint Corn: This type of corn has a very hard outer shell, which protects the inner part of the kernel. They are mostly yellow in color, but can also be red or bi-colored.
Popcorn: This type of corn has small kernels with a soft inside. The soft inside goes popped or puffs when it is heated. It grows in an oval shape and is most commonly yellow in color, but can also be red or white.
Soft Corn: This type of corn has a tender inner part and a less durable outer layer than other types of corn. It is mostly grown in Asia, South America and the Mediterranean. It is most commonly yellow in color, but can also be red, white or bi-colored.
Sugar-Enhanced Corn: This type of corn has a higher sugar content than other types of corn. It is mostly yellow in color, but can also be red or bi-colored. It is mostly grown in the United States, where people often use it for baking or in breakfast cereals.
Syrupy Corn: This type of corn has a very high starch content, which makes the kernels very syrupy. It tastes like a mixture of corn and sweet potatoes. It is mostly grown in North America.
Waxy Corn: This type of corn is grown mostly in Mexico, South America and China. It has a very high starch content, which means that it becomes quite stiff when it is cooled. It can be used to make corn starch, as well as many different types of food and drink.
How to Store
Ideally, corn should be picked when it is ripe and consuming it as soon as possible. If you cannot consume it all right away, then you may want to think about storing some of it for later. There are several methods that can be used to store corn:
Freezing: Freezing is one of the best ways to store corn for a long period of time. It can last for up to a year if kept at a consistent zero degrees. You can freeze it raw or cooked.
Drying: Drying corn is a great way to preserve it for long periods of time. The best way to dry corn is to tie the husk back down the ear, leaving the bottom of the ear exposed. Hang the ears upside down in a well-ventilated area free from insects and rodents. Once dry, rub off the outer layer of the kernels with your hands and then store in an airtight container.
Canning: Corn can also be canned in jars. Be sure to only can sweet corn. All you have to do is place the ears of corn in a large pot of boiling water until the husks become soft. Then, remove the husks and silk. Next, place a few kernels into each jar, along with some of the juice from the bottom of the pot.
Place the jars in a pressure canner and process for 90 minutes at 11.5 PSI.
Pickled Corn: Pickling corn is also another great way to store it for a long period of time. Clean and boil whole ears for two minutes. Let them sit in the juice for 20 minutes before placing in a jar. Add more of the juice to the jar, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace. Seal the jar and place in refrigerator.
How to Use
There are many different ways to use corn. Some of the most popular ones include eating it off the cob, using as an addition to salads or creating dishes with it such as hushpuppies. Corn is a very versatile ingredient that can be used in a variety of different recipes.
Sources & references used in this article:
Effect of trypsin inhibitors on growth and metamorphosis of corn borer larvae, Ostrinia nubilalis (Huebner) by R Steffens, FR Fox, B Kassell – Journal of Agricultural and Food …, 1978 – ACS Publications
ACM president’s letter: eating our seed corn by PJ Denning – Communications of the ACM, 1981 – dl.acm.org
Cover crop effect on corn growth and yield as influenced by topography by JD Muñoz, JP Steibel, S Snapp… – Agriculture, ecosystems & …, 2014 – Elsevier
Spatial and temporal variability of corn growth and grain yield: Implications for site‐specific farming by S Machado, ED Bynum, TL Archer, RJ Lascano… – Crop …, 2002 – Wiley Online Library