Growing corn is extremely easy provided you have enough space. Corn is wind-pollinated and SE varieties do not need isolation. Set up more than one row to ensure pollination- a minimum 10-foot by 10-foot area. Isolate varieties when recommended (Sh2's), by planting corn seeds at least 250 feet apart, or select varieties that mature at least 2 weeks apart. Sow corn seed 2" deep, 5 to 6 inches apart in rows 2 to 3 feet apart. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
How to Grow Corn
When corn seedlings are 3-5" tall and healthy, thin to 1-foot apart. Give plants 1-2" of water every week. Suckers tend to form at the base of the plants; they help support the stalks and make food for the plant. The stalks may have to be staked in windy areas, but in general they are self-supporting.
Ears of corn are ready to harvest about 17-20 days after the silks appear. The corn kernels should be firm and milky when cut open. Firmly grip the ear and twist downward to harvest. Take care not to break the plant as harvesting the first ear or the second ear (when present) will not develop.
Sunflowers are good companion plants. Direct Sow sunflowers in rows parallel to corn rows to help separate corn varieties that need isolation from each other. Choose sunflower varieties of comparable height to the corn plantings. The sunflower border, with vibrant hues in russets to golden-yellow, will add sparkle next to the almost all-green corn plot. The 'Three Sisters' (corn, bean and squash) are traditional companion plantings with Native American gardeners.
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