Planting corn on hillside

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by lilyrose, Aug 20, 2005.

  1. lilyrose

    lilyrose Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Hi girls. :) This is my first time posting here. This looks like a terrific board so I'm happy to be here. I'm into herbs to some extent, gardening, knitting, sewing, reading lots, and canning. I'm in process of learning some stuff.

    Has anyone here planted rows of corn on a steep hill before? I see corn growing on farmer's slopes, but they have special machinery. I wondered if anyone here has done it and if so, did the seed wash away or did you have any problems in particular?

    Also, do you have to put a good fence around corn patches to keep critters from enjoying too much? I know farmers don't, but I'm not sure if maybe they just donate to the animal kingdom to avoid the fuss and expense of a fence.

    Which varmits love corn the most?

    I'm into square foot gardening for most of my produce and I use fencing, but corn's a separate deal since I need lots of space for it.

    Thanks for any tips! :angel:
  2. Pony

    Pony STILL not Alice Supporter

    Jan 6, 2003
    Hi, Lilyrose! Welcome!

    I don't know about planting corn on a hillside, though I've seen it done and as long as you're not suffering wash out already, it will probably be okay.

    I don't know if there's a fence sufficiently secure to keep the varmints I've had to battle most: Raccoons and cucumber beetles. The 'coons, you may be able to keep them out by planting squash/pumpkin vines all around your stand of corn, or maybe by using an electric fence set-up.

    The beetles, well... Those little so-and-so's can't be fenced out. I have had mild success using foil at the base of the plant to trick them into thinking that the bottom is the top (sunlight reflects onto the bottom of the leaves and confuses them).

    I've raised corn successfully in my square foot garden. You can actually plant them closer, and can keep sufficient space between stands of corn to prevent pollination issues.

    Good luck!


  3. lilyrose

    lilyrose Well-Known Member

    Aug 20, 2005
    Thanks for the warm welcome, Pony. :)

    That's pretty smart using the aluminum foil to confuse beetles.

    When you've planted corn in your square foot garden have you just planted about 4 square foot plots on the north side of your bed - to avoid shading the other plants?

    What did you plant in there near the corn?

    Also, how many ears of corn do you typically get from one stalk?

    When you mention the coons as being troublesome, I assume that's because they can climb over most fences, right?

    I'm learning so I appeciate your input a lot.
  4. Ravenlost

    Ravenlost Well-Known Member Supporter

    Jul 20, 2004
    Where I grew up (north Alabama) farmers usually terraced their hillsides and then planted corn in the flat strips and let grass grow on the slopes (keep it mowed). Biggest problem is deer, crows and coons. My Daddy always planted extra to share with the wildlife. He planted peas and pumpkins in and near the corn.

    I garden a little differently. I have 4x16 raised beds. This was our first year gardening here (NW MS) and we're in a drought so the corn hasn't done well.
  5. rzrubek

    rzrubek Flying Z

    May 12, 2004
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Welcome lilyrose, just want to let you know you are in mixed company :p
    As for planting on a steep slope, will you be using machinary or by hand? just be sure to run your rows horizontaly to the hill forming little terraces. And be careful not to let your equipment roll over.