|Species||mays var. rugosa|
|FruitLength||7 in - 8 in|
|Additional Characteristics||Direct Sow, Edible|
|Light Requirements||Full Sun|
|Resistance||Rust, Stewart's Wilt|
|Soil Tolerance||Normal, loamy|
Corn is one of the most versatile and best-loved veggies you can grow. It's been cultivated for thousands of years, increasing in popularity over time, as its attributes have become more and more obvious. Not only is it delicious in a wide variety of dishes as well as fresh from the stalk, but its uses go well beyond the culinary world. From Corn-on-the-cob and popcorn to syrups and cereals and an abundance of other products (edible and not!), this tasty vegetable is truly remarkable!
Choosing a Variety
When choosing what type of Corn to grow, you'll be able to pick from white, yellow, and bicolor varieties as well as consider a number of other traits that affect taste and tenderness. Here's a list of different hybrid varieties and their main characteristics:
Regular Sweet Hybrids -- Traditional, old-fashioned Corn flavor, delicious without an emphasis on sweetness. High yielding.
Sugar Enhanced Varieties -- Sweeter than regular strains, and with a sweetness that lasts longer after the Corn has been picked. A creamy, tender texture and no planting isolation needed from other Sweet Corn.
Super Sweet Varieties -- Bred for twice the sweetness of regular Corn. Will hold their tenderness and sweetness up to two weeks. They must be planted in totally warm soil and kept isolated from other types by 200 feet or 14 days planting time.
New Triple Sweet Varieties -- Wonderfully sweet, but they were bred to add more original Corn taste to the sweetness, improve crunchy texture, and hold their flavor and sweetness even longer. Requires no isolation from other Sweet Corns.
When to Start
Corn is best sown outdoors in situ after all danger of frost has past in spring. Sow in warm soil -- optimum temperature is at least 60 degrees F. Sweet Corn can be started indoors 2 weeks before the last frost at a temperature of 70 to 75 degrees F, but direct sowing is recommended.
How to Start
If you want a continuous crop, sow every two weeks until early spring. Sow at a depth of 4 times the size of the seed in rows that are 24 to 36 inches apart. Plant in full sun in a rich, moist, well-drained soil. Once the seedlings appear, thin them to 3 to 12 inches apart. If you have started them inside and are transplanting them, do so when they have at least two sets of true leaves and allow them the same amount of space as previously mentioned. Expect germination in 7 to 10 days.
Cross-pollination can occur between different varieties of Corn, affecting taste, color, and other qualities. To prevent this, isolate each type by at least 700 feet, or allow at least 14 days between times of maturity.
Do not plant sooner than 10 days to 2 weeks after the date of the last killing frost. If you plant too early, your seedlings may die or their growth can be delayed.
Since Corn is wind pollinated, it's better to plant 4 or more short, side-by-side rows than 1 or 2 long rows. This will help pollination and ear development.
Pests and Problems to Watch For
Superior Germination Through Superior SciencePark Seed offers some of the highest-quality vegetable and flower seeds available in the industry, and there are a number of reasons for this.
First of all, we have humidity- and temperature-controlled storage, and we never treat any of our seeds with chemicals or pesticides. Nor do we ever sell GMO's (genetically modified seeds), so you always know the products you're buying from us are natural as well as safe for you and the environment.
Superior Standards - University InspectedTo make sure we are providing the best seed product possible and that our customers will get the highest number of seedlings from every packet, we conduct our own germination testing and have quality-control measures in every stage of our seed-handling operation. We hold ourselves to standards that are at or above federal and state standards, including testing specific crops more frequently than recommended by federal guidelines. And in order to maintain our organic certification, we welcome Clemson University to inspect us annually to make sure our organic seeds, which are stored and processed separately, are being handled properly.
Hand Packed By Experienced TechniciansPark Seed has been handling and packing vegetable and flower seeds for 145 years, a history that has given us a great understanding of how each variety should be cared for and maintained throughout every step of theprocess, from collection to shipping.
When packing our seeds, the majority are actually done by hand (with extreme care!), and we often over-pack them, so you're receiving more than the stated quantity.
The Park Seed Gold StandardAnd many of our seeds are packed in our exclusive Fresh-Pak gold foil packets, which are lined to keep moisture out, so the seeds stay fresher for longer. We carefully pack very tiny or fragile seeds in crush-proof vials to ensure safe delivery to your home. Some of the small seeds are also offered as "pellets" (have a clay coating) to make sowing and growing easier. When it comes to the kinds of seeds we offer, we are constantly seeking something new and provide many unique and hard-to-find varieties from all around the world. Our on-staff horticulturists are ready and available to share their expertise to help you with the success of these seeds, so you can grow a beautiful and productive garden!
Heirloom Seeds are open-pollinated -- they are not hybrids. You can gather and save heirloom seed from year to year and they will grow true to type every year, so they can be passed down through generations. To be considered an heirloom, a variety would have to be at least from the 1940's and 3 generations old (many varieties are much older -- some 100 years or more!).
Hybrid seed are the product of cross-pollination between 2 different parent plants, resulting in a new plant/seed that is different from the parents. Unlike Heirloom seed, hybrid seed need to be re-purchased new every year (and not saved). They usually will not grow true to type if you save them, but will revert to one of the parents they were crossed with and most likely look/taste different in some way.
The ancient Native American technique of growing Corn, Beans, and Squash together in an arrangement called the Three Sisters is the ultimate in companion planting and helps increase harvests, naturally!
Corn acts as a support for climbing bean vines, the beans fix nitrogen in the soil for the high feeding requirements of corn and squash, and the squash provides mulch and root protection for the corn and beans! After cooperating beautifully in the garden, corn and beans form a complete protein when eaten together! How's that for a mutually beneficial relationship?
The Three Sisters are all easy to direct sow in the garden and are a great project for children, teaching them about the beauty of natural harmony while providing a fast-growing reward for their efforts.
Make the best possible use of your garden space this season, and try growing the Three Sisters! Just follow the easy steps listed below, fertilize well, plant other companions like herbs to assist with pest control, and you'll be harvesting your best crop in no time!
In May or June when soil has warmed:
Shape a flat-topped circular mound of soil about a foot high and 2 feet across at the top, sloping outward toward the base. Plant a circle of corn seeds on top, about 5 or 6, and water them in well, tamping down your soil mound firmly so it doesn't wash away in the first rain. Space the mounds 3 or 4 feet apart in the garden.
Since all corn grows on sturdy, dependable stalks, the variety you choose depends on the flavor, disease resistance, and holding ability you want. Sugar Buns is a Sugar Enhanced (SE) yellow hybrid with absolutely scrumptious golden kernels and is positively scrumptious. For SE whites, you can't beat Silver Princess, with extra-long ears bursting with flavor. And for the sweetest ears yet, you absolutely must try Corn Mirai, available in Yellow, White, Bicolor, and even a Mini!
About two weeks later:
When your corn reaches about 5 or 6 inches high, plant Bean seeds (6 to 8 of them) around the edges of the flat top or about halfway down the sloping sides of the circular mound. Push the seeds down deep into the soil and, if you're planting on the slope, make sure the soil is nice and firm. Add a bit of Nature's Aid at planting time to help the Beans fix nitrogen.
To get your Beans to climb up the cornstalks, choose Pole rather than Bush varieties. Smeraldo is far and away the best-tasting Pole Bean, with flat pods up to 10 inches long on vigorous 4- to 6-foot vines. Park gardeners rave about Kwintus, a super-early performer with succulent pods on stringless 8- to 10-inch pods. And is the classic name in Beans, with top-quality dark green pods that are both stringless and fiberless, even if you pick them a bit late. We even have Blue Lake available in organic seed!
One week or so after that:
Plant Squash seeds around the base of the mound, on flat ground. You can make them radiate around the mound, or just go in the direction you have available space! 6 to 8 seeds in a ring around the base of the mound is usually plenty.
The traditional Squash family member for this Sister is Pumpkin, with its all-American flavor and long growing season. For a quicker harvest, grow Summer Squash varieties such as organic Early Summer Crookneck or Zucchini such as space-saving Eight Ball Hybrid.
When everything begins growing...
Thin the plantings to 2 or 3 Corn stalks, each with no more than 2 Bean plants winding around it. (You'll need to help the Beans get started growing up the stalks). The Squash is going to vine along the ground, so the number of plants you need depends on how far apart your mounds of corn and beans are, how long the vines get, and how much walking space you need in the garden.
Add a FOURTH sister: Sunflowers!
Sunflowers attract birds, thus tempting them away from your corn plants. They shade the vining bean plants while also adding support. Plus, they're beautiful! It's a win-win situation!