Planting corn in blocks is a great way to increase ear production. It’s important to space the rows twenty to thirty inches apart, and plant the corn seeds one inch deep. You can also plant high-density corn in 15-inch squares. After you plant the seeds, you can water them once a week for ten days. Corn needs sixty to ninety days to reach maturity.
Hand-pollinate corn silks to give Mother Nature a hand
Pollinating corn plants is not hard and requires very little effort. The best time for pollinating corn is mid-morning, but avoid high temperatures and intense humidity. Pollen is sticky and less viable under these conditions. The optimal time for pollination is three to five days after the silks emerge from the plant. To make the process more efficient, gather the pollen in a bulk bag and take it to the silk. Once you find the right tassel, cut it with a pair of sharp pruners.
Hand-pollating corn silks is easy to do. The best time to do it is in the morning or early evening before dew falls. The number of tassels you collect each night should be up to your judgment. It takes about a week to pollinate one row of corn.
Corn plants are susceptible to several common pests and diseases. Fortunately, most corn hybrids come with some protection from these problems. Corn earworm is one such pest. Although it rarely damages entire ears, it can greatly reduce the yield on a single infected ear. To help protect your crops from these pests, you can place mineral oil on the tip of the husk, where silks develop. Apply this oil about two days after the silks emerge.
In order to pollinate corn effectively, you should hand-pollinate the silks. By doing so, you will increase your corn harvest and give Mother Nature a helping hand. You can also plant corn in blocks or rows in order to make the process of pollination easier and faster.
If you’re a new gardener, consider giving hand-pollinating corn a try. It is a simple and rewarding process. You can choose between open and hybrid varieties and plant them in four-row blocks. However, you must remember that hybrids will have uniform maturity dates and height.
The pollen produced by the corn silks has a high water content, so it’s important to ensure that you water the silks properly. Watering the soil once a week is ideal.
Keep your corn free of weeds and grasses
Weeds are a pest that can easily be eliminated by keeping the area around your corn plants weed-free. You should make sure to keep weeds at bay by removing them before they grow too large, and you should weed only when the weed seedlings are small. Large weeds will shade your young corn plants and reduce yields.
Depending on your variety, sweet corn needs about an inch of water a week. If your sweet corn is not getting enough moisture, it will not mature. The most effective way to provide moisture is to use soaker hoses. You can also mulch your corn to conserve moisture and to prevent weeds from growing around the stalks.
To ensure a healthy crop, choose a sunny location with good drainage. Prepare the soil by adding compost or well-decomposed manure. After that, rake the area to create rows that are approximately four feet long. Space the rows about thirty to 36 inches apart. Moisten the soil before you plant the corn seeds. If you are planting multiple varieties, space them at least two weeks apart or about 100 feet apart.
Corn is a heavy feeder, so it’s important to add organic material to the soil around your corn plants to ensure a healthy crop. To keep the soil moist, you should water the ground around your corn plants every week. It’s ideal to keep the soil moisture level near 75%. Corn plants can’t survive if there’s too little water available to them.
The main enemies of sweet corn are grasses and broad-leaf weeds. If you have trouble controlling these insects, you can cover your corn planting with black plastic or straw. This also helps keep the soil moist and helps control weed growth. Another great option is frequent shallow cultivation.
Protect your corn from raccoons
If you are growing corn in blocks or in a garden, you may want to protect your crop from raccoons. This animal is known to destroy garden crops, including sweet corn. Fortunately, most types of corn are hardy in USDA planting zones 4 to 8. The height of the stalks will determine whether or not raccoons will be attracted to the corn. Taller stalks are more difficult for raccoons to climb, so choosing the right height for your corn is crucial. You can also try planting other plants in your garden that will repel raccoons. For example, squash, pumpkin, and pole beans are also not attractive to raccoons, so you may want to interplant them with your corn.
You can also use a homemade repellent to deter raccoons from your corn. You can buy ammonia or make it yourself. Apply the solution to the base of your garden, the corn stalks, and your house to deter raccoons. You should reapply the repellent at least twice a week, and more often when it rains.
Another effective method of deterring raccoons from corn is to use duct tape. This type of tape has a unique ability to prevent animals from chewing the ears of corn. It is effective for preventing raccoons from eating the kernels, and many growers are now using this method to protect their crops.
Using a bird trap is another effective way to discourage raccoons from eating your sweet corn. This will also help deter birds from feeding on the sweet corn. You can also place scarecrows in sweet corn fields to deter raccoons. To further discourage raccoons, plant pole beans and pumpkins. These plants grow foliage and are difficult to walk on. In addition, they block raccoons’ vision.
One more way to repel raccoons is to use mothballs. These substances can be absorbed into walls or surfaces, so be sure to replace them regularly. If this method does not work, you may want to consider covering the rows with hardware screening or an eaves trough cover.
Protect your corn from cutworms
If you are planning to plant corn in blocks, you should protect it from cutworms. These insects will cause severe damage to your crops. Luckily, there are several methods you can use to protect your corn. The first step is to know which cutworms attack your crops. Each type has a specific host plant. For instance, army cutworms are more prevalent in western regions, preferring wheat and oats. This type of cutworm can also harm your crops by causing them to die.
Among the most common pests and diseases of corn are cutworms, European cornborers, and common stalk borers. These insects can be controlled by applying wood ash or agricultural lime. However, these insects can infect even resistant varieties. This is why it is best to use four-year crop rotation.
Corn leaf aphids are another pest to be aware of. These tiny creatures feed on the leaves and stems of your crops. While the larvae of these insects can be killed by using pesticides such as spinosad, they are not resistant to these substances. In addition, you should keep away from garden debris as it can harbor borers and earworms.
To prevent corn earworms, you can cover the ears with mineral oil. This will help suffocate the larvae. Also, use a pesticide that can suffocate the worms. Alternatively, spray it down the plant to kill the larvae.
Another method is to use diatomaceous earth, which is a natural powder used against pests. Due to its crystalline structure, it will cause cuts in the caterpillar’s skin and will dehydrate it slowly. You can also sprinkle this powder on the soil when the cutworms are still in the pupa stage.
While this method might not be ideal for everyone, you can still prevent cutworms from damaging your crops. However, it requires careful attention and constant weeding. Moreover, it will ensure that your corn plants get full pollination. The main goal is to avoid the insects that can wreak havoc on your crops.
Remember to plant your corn in blocks. Then, space them about a foot apart. By spacing them correctly, you’ll be able to pollinate them and produce full ears of corn. Also, it is important to avoid planting Indian corn and sweet corn together. Pollen from Indian corn can contaminate the pollen of sweet corn, which will compromise its quality.