Corn-Why Can't I grow it?

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Grandmotherbear, May 21, 2004.

  1. Grandmotherbear

    Grandmotherbear Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 14, 2002
    Fl Zones 11
    I've never been able to raise corn. It would get knee high and then bloom. Never form ears. I found Silver Queen starts at the Home Depot, and very carefully planted them 6-8 inches apart, hilled them when they got hip high, fertilized them frequently- they are now waist high and in bloom. What am I doing wrong? I live in zone 10/11, with sand- but I amend the corn bed with garden soil and fertilize and mulch like crazy. Is it the heat? Any ideas??
  2. tkrabec

    tkrabec Well-Known Member

    Mar 12, 2003
    Hi mama bear,

    I'm in Indiantown, just north of Palm beach county
    I tried raising corn last year and I did not water it too well so it died.

    Then I tried 2 different plantings this year and nothing. 1st one in december it Grew about 3' tall turned red and died. The second grew about a foot tall flowered and gave baby corn I guess.

    So It might be a local thing or the wrong type at the wrong time of the year

    -- Tim

  3. james dilley

    james dilley Well-Known Member Supporter

    Mar 21, 2004
    deep south texas
    for your part of the country you need to plant when i do about the middle of january, and remember corn is a heavy feeder of nitrogen have you tested your soil? ,you maybe p lanting to late in the year.
  4. Ed in S. AL

    Ed in S. AL Well-Known Member

    Jun 4, 2002
    At the end of the road.
    Don't feel bad. I have never been able to grow corn worth a flip. It would get about 4 foot tall, and not make a decent ear of corn. That was until this year. I studied hard on it all winter. This year I have corn 7 to 9 feet tall and loaded down with big ears.

    I used my troybuilt tiller and let it make up the row I was going to plant. I then went back and fertilized the heck out of the top of the row. I then tilled that fertilizer into the ground. I then dug a small trench 1 and 1/2 inches deep down both sides of the row, about 8 inches apart. Planted 2 rows of corn into 1. Spaced the seeds about 8 inches apart as well.

    Corn shot out of the ground. When it reached about a foot tall I fertilized it lightly a second time. It really took off then. And I then fertilized it lighty a third time once the top tassles started showing. This is going to be a great crop of sweet corn for me.

    I'm so proud of it, I have even planted another 4 rows the same way. They are already up, and almost 8 inches tall in 2 weeks.
  5. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

    Jan 8, 2004
    Ed just described the way I plant, except I only fertilize once after the corn is up, at about the foot stage.

    Best variety for me has been Funk's G90.
  6. GeorgeK

    GeorgeK Well-Known Member

    Apr 14, 2004
    Depending on your variety of corn, and the neighbors' and which way the wind blows, you might be getting cross pollination in such a way that the ears are too small to be worth anything
  7. heelpin

    heelpin Well-Known Member

    Nov 18, 2003
    Corn should grow like grass in your area as long as it gets enough moisture. Plant corn in a trench with maybe 500 lbs 13-13-13 per acre (acre=44,000 sq ft= .0113 lbs per sq. ft), when corn is knee high pull the soil to it and side dress with about 200 lbs nitrogen per acre, pull more soil to it to form a good bed, needs 2 inches of water a week during growth stage, plant side by side rather than a long row.
  8. HermitJohn

    HermitJohn Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2002
    OP varieties need little fertilizer and do well. I rarely have problems with sweet corn. However this year is different. 12 inch rain in a week then dry as a bone and while waiting for things to dry, I found my seed was buggy. So off to Dollar General and picked up couple big pkts of I think old Iochief hybrid. Some started to come up but that was it, rest didnt and wasnt there when I dug down in rows. Apparently it rotted. Too late for anything except real short season variety which I'd have to order so no corn this year. Going to try planting some old OP Indian corn seed which tolerates drought pretty well and rest of space to sunflowers and milk thistle which I have quite a bit of saved seed. Then big turnip patch this fall. Something also destroyed all but two of home raised tomato seedlings so just bought couple six packs (well 4 packs with 6 or 7 plants because they werent thinned properly) of cherry tomatoes at town. Sweet 100 and Ildi. Did set them in trench with heavy mulch so can continue with my experiment.
  9. Grandmotherbear here- possibly it was too late in the season and possibly not enough nitrogen. I have some OP heirloom Black Aztec corn- not a sweet corn, probably more a bread corn, in seed for this autumn. Belle Glade had a Sweet Corn Festival 2 weeks ago, and Zellwood has one this weekend- so that is why I am thinking maybe too late in the season. That would be a harvest festival. But it's hard to find seed for fall and winter planting in South Florida- the national chains only carry stuff when the rest of the country-zones 4-7- need it.

    I am so DONE with reading descriptions that end with "Cold hardy". Why can't it ever read "Heat hardy"????
  10. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    May 11, 2002
    I think the problem has to do with your belt. I have a corn belt and raising corn is a **** in. Now is it possible that you have a citrus belt? If so why don't I raise you some corn and trade it for some oranges that grow on trees down there? Unk
  11. mary,tx

    mary,tx Well-Known Member Supporter

    Dec 4, 2002
    I've never heard of getting corn starts, and don't believe it would transplant well.
    We plant in the furrows, not hills, and very close together. Planting in the furrows allows you to easily add soil around the plants as they grow, and also makes a nice watering trough. Since corn is wind pollinated, it is important to plant your corn close together--much closer than most people think.
    (What do you mean by corn blooming?)
    Here in Central Texas (zone 8), I plant before the end of February, to catch the good early spring rains. Mine is head-high and better, and making ears now.
    I've found that corn can recover from light frost.