Growing Corn in your garden
Corn or Maize is scientifically known as Zea mays, an economically significant grass species. Maize is a major cash crop in the agriculture sector. It is considered as a source of staple food in many countries. Some of the biggest food industries in the world are dependent on fresh corns, baby corns, maize grains, corn flakes, corn flour, popcorns, corn starch, etc.
Corn is available in many different varieties, ‘Sweet corn’ being the most popular among home kitchen gardeners. It should be grown in your veggie garden if you are a tender, sweet corn fan. It is an unrivaled delicacy when freshly plucked & roasted as ‘Bhutta’ in Indian style. Corn cob starts losing sweetness after 24 hours when sugar gets converted to starch. There are hundreds of popular corn recipes here in India & all over the world.
Corn is a primary source of carbohydrates & proteins. Apart from many other vitamin & minerals, corn is a vital source of Riboflavin (Vitamin B2), Vitamin B 6.
- Corn is a sun loving plant. It can be grown in raised beds as well as in containers kept under open sunlight.
- Corn is grown by direct seed sowing in containers or beds. No transplantation is needed.
- Corn can be grown with 2 x 2 ft spacing between plants on raised beds. You can grow a bunch of plants in regular 14-16 inch pot.
- Sow Corn seeds in well-drained soil rich in added organic manure like bio-compost or vermicompost.
- Water your potted corn plant every day in summer & every other day in winter. Water at the soil near the plant. Use a watering can make sure plants get water in the form of the shower & not by a single flow. You can also make provision for watering by drip irrigation system on your raised beds.
- Add good quality organic manure in the soil with 2:1 ratio before sowing seeds. Organic manure can be well rotten cow dung manure, farmyard manure, Compost or Vermicompost.
- Sweet corn plant will start flowering on of 3rd month; Sweet corn cobs can be harvested after 80-90 days of seed sowing.
- Corn cob should be harvested when seeds are well formed, but its skin can be punctured with a fingernail. A downward twisting jerk will usually snap the ear from the stalk.