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Grow Your Own Corn

Learn how to prepare and plant your own corn from this 1972 article for an abundant harvest of delicious ears at a budget-friendly cost.

| July/August 1972

  • Corn
    Grow your own corn without the need for pesticides or chemicals.

  • Corn

Priced close to 10¢ an ear as it is on supermarket counters, corn would seldom be enjoyed by my family of six hearty eaters if we didn't grow our own. Seventy-five cents invested once in a half-pound of good seed, however, produces all the top-quality roasting ears, creamed and kernel corn we can eat fresh and frozen all year round! Our methods should work for you too.

Plant Corn Early

Don't wait until the weather turns hot to get your early corn into the ground. Hot weather is necessary for maturing corn, not for planting it. In fact, the corn I seed about two weeks before. The roots of such corn grow quickly and deeply into the water-softened earth and later provide plenty of moisture to developing ears, even during severe droughts.

The initial growth of cornstalks, I've found, is also facilitated by cool, sunny days . . . my early corn is the tallest, sturdiest and most productive. Best of all, there are far fewer damaging insects about during the first part of the season!

If you plan to sell part of your crop, my best advice again is plant early. With premium ears ready for the Fourth of July holiday, you can just about name your price. Choose a corn that matures in 58 to 63 days. Any good hybrid will do but "Hybrid Fourth of July" and "Hybrid Pride of Canada", when planted extra early, are two varieties exceptionally well-suited for cashing in on this market.

Prepare the Ground Before Planting Corn

For early corn, it's best to till or plow the autumn before . . . so you'll be sure of getting into the field even during an exceptionally wet spring. Turn under a heavy sprinkling of well-rotted barnyard manure, rabbit droppings or similar organic fertilizer if you desire . . . but don't worry if it isn't available. Any plot of ground that will grow a good crop of weeds should grow corn without additional fertilizing.

It is important, however, to get as much organic material into the soil as possible. Plow under (or dig with a spade) dead leaves, green grass, straw, weeds, leftover food . . . anything that is growing or has grown. Decayed organic debris in the soil keeps it from packing and baking and permits roots to go deeper, faster. It also attracts helpful earthworms and encourages the presence of beneficial soil bacteria.

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