Thursday, April 26, 2012
He Who Walks Behind the Rows
For the record, I like corn.
Now that we have that out of the way, I plant several types of corn. Blue dent, bloody butcher, sweet corn and popcorn. I use them for feed as well as in my kitchen. I am partial to the dent corn myself.
But how? How can you grow so many types of corn without cross pollination problems?
Ah yes, that conundrum. Many tell you that corn must be separated a half mile to a full mile to prevent cross pollination. I have a large garden but not that big. Large, edible sunflowers have become my secret to many garden dilemmas. For starters, plant your corn in blocks rather than rows. This will allow the corn to pollinate each other by brushing up against one another ( hmmmm corn gropping) rather than relying on wind or bugs. Then plant the sunflowers to help block any potential wind carried cross pollination. I have been able to do this successfully for several years, and have seen no change in my corn.
I also plant in clay, without adding topsoil. Clay soil has lots of good in it, large plants thrive well in it. After several years of planting corn and sunflowers, and tilling under the stalks, my clay soil changes and small seed crops can then be grown there. A tip, if you fish, throw the leftovers from you cleaned fish at the base of your corn stalks. They love it.
Corn is another easy to grow food, as I said earlier, popcorn is a mainstay in traditional homesteads. Just don't bunch them up together as I have seen other suggests. The quality and quantity of corn you get is greatly reduced. These plants do fight, and none tend to win. You will end up with very small cobs and kernels, not worth seed saving.
Baby oil rubbed on the is as soon as they appear, does greatly reduce the amount of worms eating through your corn cobs.
I have a post on the nutritional values and why I think organizations warning people off raising their own corn is hog wash, over here. Becuase I feel most people merely tell you what they think you want to hear and what might sell their books. And if you click on the link at the top of my blog, recipes, you will find several ways to prepare corn.