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I am (happily) planning my garden for this Spring. I see others have gotten their seed catalogs also! I know that it isn't recommended that corn be planted in the same garden space two years in a row but I'm not sure how to line up my garden then because of shade issues. Also, we used a modification of the Mittleider Method that used vertical growing whenever possible. The one end of my garden has the framework installed and I don't want to have to pull up all the posts and re-set them at the other end of the garden. (I'm not sure this is making sense...) Anyway, is there something I can use to ammend the soil so that the corn doesn't exhaust it if I plant it in the same spot? I have been spreading chicken manure topically to let the rain, snow, freeze & thaw, work it into the soil. I do the same with some well rotted horse manure (thanks to the previous owners of our place who apparently were unaware that you are supposed to actually clean your barn from time-to-time!) Will that help or is there something else I need to do?:eek:

Thanks for the advice!
 

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corn is a very heavy feeder. We divide our garden into thirds and move everything down a section each year. We plant 1/3 to corn, potatoes and mixed veggies, so we are only planting corn in a section every third year. We also heavily fertilize with cleanings from the barn. I would not recommend planting corn every year in the same area.
 

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I cann't seem to get corn to grow with out chemicals. So I dropped corn from my garden.
 

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Goatsareus, out of curiosity, are you rotating your corn then by strip/rows instead of "blocks" of space? How does the shade that the corn casts affect the other crops on the shady side as you move your corn around? It seems like there would be only one year out of the three where your corn would be in the optimum position of receiving sun and still not blocking light from the lower crops. In a farmer's field where there is soybeans one year and corn the other, it doesn't make any difference. While I want the corn, I don't want to reduce production by other plantings either. Yes, I am making this probably more complicated that it seems it should be. For me, the rotating would involve pulling up posts that are like miniature versions of telephone poles plus the trellis structure that goes with them. If I can avoid doing that by ammending my soil, I'd really like to but perhaps that isn't possible.
 

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I know this will be stunningly horrible to some people... but I just don't grow corn every single year. Maybe every other year - sometimes it is 2 years in between. Not because I cannot find the room for it within the rotation (which is your situation) but because it is a huge feeder, takes up a lot of room in the garden and provides shade which is NOT what I need in my garden, and provides relatively low production for the amount of square feet of valuable garden space it consumes. Now, having said that, sweet corn is too wonderful tasting to never grow so I do make room for it periodically and enjoy it when we do. I am mentioning this practice, because perhaps this is an approach you can take too. There are many many wonderful things to grow and eat - corn is just one of them.

As to the question on putting the same crop in the same place several years in a row... in addition to the soil depletion problem you and others have mentioned already... there is the problem of disease and pest buildup in the soil that prey on that plant family specifically. Rotation helps to reduce those risks by breaking the food chain cycle somewhat for those particular organisms. I know that Pacquetbot has written that he puts his potatoes in the same bed many years in a row - successfully - but in general this is a practice that is discouraged for most crops.
 

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ooopppsss...wrong thread.
 

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Goatsareus, out of curiosity, are you rotating your corn then by strip/rows instead of "blocks" of space? How does the shade that the corn casts affect the other crops on the shady side as you move your corn around? It seems like there would be only one year out of the three where your corn would be in the optimum position of receiving sun and still not blocking light from the lower crops. In a farmer's field where there is soybeans one year and corn the other, it doesn't make any difference. While I want the corn, I don't want to reduce production by other plantings either. Yes, I am making this probably more complicated that it seems it should be. For me, the rotating would involve pulling up posts that are like miniature versions of telephone poles plus the trellis structure that goes with them. If I can avoid doing that by ammending my soil, I'd really like to but perhaps that isn't possible.
Not sure I understand your question. Our garden is 100'x100' and is on a slope, so we have what we call the upper and lower portions of the garden. One year the corn is planted in the upper third of the garden. The next year the potatoes are planted there and the following year the assortment of vegetables are planted in the upper portion.

We do not have a problem with corn shading the other plants. We grow Sugar Buns, a 70 day (short day) corn that only gets 5 feet tall, by August. We leave about 4 feet between corn rows so I can get a wheelbarrow in between the rows. As soon as the corn grows about 6 inches, I start to clean out the barn and mulch the corn. By the time the corn is knee high, it is all mulched. Also, the sun is high in the sky this time of the year and nothing really gets shaded much. Out garden is also in full sun, had to remove quite a few trees to accomplish that!
Did I answer your questions? Have you planted corn before? There are many challenges to bringing in a corn crop!
 

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I do not ever start out with intentions to plant sweet corn. It's always been cheaper to buy it than to grow it around here. However, I have grown it the past 2 years as a one-time crop in abandoned plots. In both cases, a lot of horse manure was plowed under along with the stalks. That was to replace a lot of the nutrients that the corn had removed.

Another reason for rotating corn is root worms. Second and third years are always worse than the first when they become established.

Martin
 
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