Corn is one of the most popular food grain produce all over the world and they belong to the plant family Poaceae ad they have been an integral part of the human diet for a very long time.
This plant originates from Mesoamerica and it was introduced to Europe in the 15th century and is now cultivated in every other part of the world except for Antarctica.
Corn is also known as “maize” or “sweet corn” and there are different varieties of this plant that were created through selective breeding and it has been an important part of different industries around the world.
Corns vary in size and this usually depends on the specific specie of corn that is being dealt with in particular and they can grow to a height of about 8 feet (modern cultivars) while the wild species can reach a height of 20 feet.
Maize; corn is one of the simplest plants to grow – it does not require much effort and it performs well in almost all places as long as its growing recommendation is met.
Corn is scientifically known as Zea mays and they produce bamboo-like stems that are usually divided into 20 nodes with each node bearing leaves that are 4 feet long.
Corn is a highly nutritious plant, it is very rich in sugar, vitamins, proteins, and minerals and they also have fibers which make it highly beneficial to man and there are diets that are corn-based.
Corns have cobs that bear kernels and each cob can hold about 600 kernels at once and they are mostly arranged in 16 rows on the cobs.
The kernels of corn are generally regarded as the seed and it is the edible part of the plant and they have different colors that usually depend on the species of the plant and they can have colors ranging from white, yellow, green, through black.
Corns are lovely plants to grow around the house and they do not take much space as long as the environment can support its growth and development – in this article, we will take you through the various steps involved in growing maize/corn plants so you should read further to learn more. Enjoy reading!
Table of Contents
- 1 When is the right time to Plant Corn?
- 2 How to Grow Corn
- 3 Conclusion
When is the right time to Plant Corn?
Corns are annual plants that thrive well under warm-weather and they cannot survive cold or frost at all.
When you want to grow your plant, you need to pay very good attention to the fact that they require 60 to 100 days that is frost-free to reach maturity after being sown in the ground.
Even though it is not recommendable to start corns indoor because of its shallow roots that can easily get damaged; making use of a growing material that can be decomposed in the soil is recommended to start if your region is usually very cold and you can’t have a long period of warmth.
Since these plants do not do well in the cold, the perfect time to grow your corn plant is during the spring after the last frost has passed.
However, in some part of the world where the weather condition is very warm such as Africa, there are two seasonal periods for planting corn and they are during spring and fall.
The place where you reside will definitely have a really significant impact on the time when planting can be done.
How to Grow Corn
Growing corns is quite fascinating and interesting and it is very easy to get this done. When planning on growing your own corn plant, there are some steps that you need to follow so as to ensure the proper development of the corn plants.
In this section of the article, we will take you through the steps to follow when you want to grow your own corn plant at home and ensure its proper growth and development. Below are the steps involved in growing corns:
Chose a suitable variety/species of corn to grow:
There are different species and varieties of corns so it is important to pay good attention to the type of corn that you want to grow.
There are different varieties of corn; there are some early maturing varieties that will be perfect for those who live in regions with a less warm climate.
It is also important to ask about the species of corn that grow best in your region and you should factor in when making your choice of corn to grow.
The place where your corn plant is to be grown must be well fertile and you can add aged manure or compost to the soil to help improve its fertility before planting is done.
Corns do require so much Nitrogen for their proper growth and development so you can add a fertilizer rich in nitrogen to the soil.
The soil should be well-draining and must have good water retention ability. The space where the corn is to be grown must have good exposure to sunlight for about 6 hours per day.
If you have a site where you’ve planted any leguminous plant the previous growing season; this will be a good place to grow corns since it will be very rich in Nitrogen.
The soil at the site of choice should be broken down to a depth of about 8 inches and you should check the pH of the soil.
The pH of the soil should be at a range of 5.8 and 7.0 and if you notice that the PH is either higher than 7.0 or lower than 5.8, you should make a proper amendment to the soil.
Add 1.5lbs of 5-10-5 fertilizer per 50 square feet to the first six inches of the soil so as to provide the soil with the necessary nutrients that its needs. Make sure to level the soil surface well after preparing the soil for planting operation.
Plant the corn seed:
The grain from a matured maize cob is referred to as the seed and those that are sown are usually planted are usually treated.
The seeds should be planted at a depth of 1 to 2 inches below the soil and at a spacing of 12 inches in rows. Make sure to cover the seed with soil and make it as compact as possible.
Water the plant regularly:
After sowing the seed, you should water the soil very well until the top 6 inches is moist. Always water the soil during the period of seed germination which could occur within 7 and 14 days and during the growing period you should supply water to the plant base three times a week. Make sure that the plant gets enough water to survive the harsh weather and can thrive very well.
Cover the planting site with row cover:
Protecting your plant during growth is very essential so you should think about protecting them from common garden pests that can affect their growth and development by installing a row cover on the planting row.
You can also place a plastic collar around the seedlings to protect the plant from cutworms. Remember to remove the row cover when the seedling’s stalk has four or five leaves on them.
Weeds are one of the most challenges faced by corn and this plant does not like competition of any kind.
You should add about a 2-inch layer of mulch to the plant base to ensure the development of weeds and also ensure the loss of soil moisture.
It is important to keep weeds at the barest minimum so that your plant can perform well in the growing region.
As said, corns need fertilizers to perform well and it is important to supply the needed your plant with one when needed.
You should apply 1/4lbs of 46-0-0 fertilizer per 50 square feet of planting site when the corn has about 8 leaves on its stalk.
Also, the plant should be supplied with 1/8lbs of 46-0-0 fertilizer per 50 square feet when they develop the first silk. Make sure the fertilizer is applied about 6 inches from the plant base and water it well so that the plant can reach it.
Prevent plant diseases:
Make sure to pay very good attention to our plant and avoid the development of diseases on the plant and if any is observed make sure you take care of it as soon as possible.
Growing corn plants is very easy and simple to carry out and it is a plant that you can grow at your backyard and will certainly thrive well.
There are different varieties of this plant that you can grow and you can mix the varieties to have different tastes available to you at your beck and core. Have a great gardening experience.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article !