Old corn cobs and stalks in the garden site

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Leah IL, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. Leah IL

    Leah IL momto6

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    This is my first garden at our new place, and it is going to be a whopper- way too big, I'm sure, but I am just too excited about my SPACE. Anyway, last year the farmer that owned the property had corn planted there. He harvested it last October and chisel plowed it, which left large stalks and deep furrows in the soil. He lives down the road now and agreed to come back this spring and turn the field over for us which he just finished doing today.

    Anyway, the field is now level and the corn stalks are all uprooted but they're still there in my garden site. I have about a 1/2 acre garden planned. Should I rake up all the leftover stalks and cobs or just leave them there and plant my garden right among them? I know you can compost corn stalks, but I don't know about just leaving them there. While I don't relish the idea of doing all that extra work, I am leaning toward clearing the whole darn thing out. Any thoughts?

    Thanks-
    Leah
     
  2. bugstabber

    bugstabber Chief cook & weed puller Supporter

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    You could use them as row markers... They would make a nice base to start a compost pile. Or bury them between the planted rows, the worms would like that.
     

  3. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    Leah,
    I wouldn't rake them out. Or if you do, just add them to the bottom of a compost pile so they'll keep moist and decompose faster.
    I don't know if you use the tiller, but I always tilled in the stalks right into the ground. The troy built tiller I used chopped them up enough and with soil covering them, it adds just that much more orgnic matter. Eventually they'll decompose and further amend your organic soil content.
     
  4. I do the same as moonwolfe, I just till them right back into the ground. By mid gardening season most of them have completely decomposed. However, try not to plant corn back where you planted corn from last year to avoid any diseases.
     
  5. Paquebot

    Paquebot Well-Known Member

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    Since it's already been chisel plowed, I'm suspecting that you intend to plant without having the whole field tilled again. If so, no problem. If there are some stalks and cobs where you plan to plant, simply rake them to the pathways between the rows. Use them to walk on instead of the dirt. Neighbor used to grow some corn every year and then was "stuck" with all of the stalks. They were gladly accepted by me and I simply used them between rows. By midsummer, they were fairly well broken up simply by walking on them. Then totally gone by fall.

    Martin
     
  6. Leah IL

    Leah IL momto6

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    Wow, good ideas!! I think you just saved me (actually my kids, child labor LOL) lots of work. I'll use it between rows, and anything close to my compost pile I will just throw in there. Yay! I love spring :)