To maximize your crop yields, plant several corn varieties on the same day or in different locations. This will ensure a succession of crops, extending your harvest season. Ideally, three to four rows of corn should be planted together to ensure pollination. Then, cultivate the plants shallowly to prevent damage to their roots. Fertilize your corn plants three times during the growing season. Pruning is another important aspect of corn cultivation.
Planting corn after the last frost date
Corn is sensitive to frost, so it’s best to plant after the last frost date in your area. The soil temperature should be at least 60 degrees Fahrenheit for corn to grow properly. For super-sweet varieties, it should be at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Corn needs a long period of frost-free weather to mature properly. You can use the last frost date as a guide, but if your weather is particularly cold, it’s better to start your planting indoors.
If you’re planning to plant corn in your garden, you should know that the last frost date may vary from year to year, so you can’t guarantee a perfect date. The best estimation is based on past historical averages. You can check the USDA’s map of last frost dates for your specific zone. For example, in Zones 3 and 4, the last frost date could fall anywhere from late February to early May.
Fertilizing corn three times
Fertilizing corn three times helps the plant grow more rapidly. The sweet corn plant needs various nutrient applications as it grows through the stages of development. The first application is a light feeding at planting time to ensure that the seeds will establish quickly and prevent them from burning. The second and final application should be stronger, so that the corn plant can grow tall stalks and full ears. Using a fertilizer that contains all the necessary nutrients is an important part of the fertilizing process.
It is important to determine the proper amount of nitrogen for economic corn production. To avoid over-fertilization, use nitrogen only in small amounts. When planning a fertilization plan, take all the sources of nitrogen into account.
Watering corn during dry periods
It’s important to remember that overwatering corn is just as bad as underwatering it. Overwatered plants won’t produce ears and will eventually wilt and die. To make sure you don’t overwater, subtract the recent rainfall from the total water you’re planning to apply to the corn. Also, look for yellowing leaves on the plant to see if you’ve overwatered it.
While the time of day you apply water to corn is not critical, applying it early in the morning will encourage pollination. This is because the early morning sun will lower the soil temperature and increase the relative humidity, which is important to pollination. Nonetheless, the myth of “cold shock” may make some producers hesitant to water corn during dry periods. If you’re not sure when to water your corn, check out the MSU Extension and Purdue Extension websites. They have tools and soil water balance sheets you can use to schedule irrigation.
Pruning corn plants
Pruning corn plants is a very simple procedure. You can trim off the top six to ten inches of the plant to keep it in check. If it grows too tall or looks ragged, prune it back. New growth will grow in its place. Make sure to use clean scissors and garden shears to avoid spreading disease.
Corn plants require a moderate level of humidity to thrive, and you can help them by misting them with water every day. You can also place them in a pot that has drainage holes so they can keep their roots moist.
One of the most important steps when growing corn is weeding. Weeds can be a serious threat to the growth of your corn crop, because they compete with your crop for moisture and nitrogen. This reduces the survival rate of your sweet corn seedlings and ultimately decreases the harvest. Fortunately, there are several effective methods for weed control.
First, you must identify weeds early in their vegetative stages. This is crucial to an effective postemergence control strategy. Therefore, you should start field scouting as early as two weeks after planting your corn. You should continue scouting weekly for eight to 10 weeks. Using a field scouting tool can help you identify weeds and manage them effectively.