Never in my life did I think I would be growing corn. But here we are.
One morning I woke up and thought I wonder if corn could grow in one of our raised beds.
This is when the full on research began. I googled “growing corn” and soon found many online resources.
I learned that corn needs to be planted in blocks because they are wind pollinated.
When the pollen from male part at the top of the plant flowers, wind blows it to fall on the female part of the plant which is the silk where the ear itself grows from.
Here’s a video we created on our beginning steps into germinating and transplanting corn:
Well that was just fascinating to me, that corn used its growing space for companion growing along with wind to pollinate.
Kind of like a team of players helping each other succeed, and everyone on the team is needed to do their jobs to win the game.
It was at this point I was officially hooked and thought I too could surely grow corn in my backyard, people have been growing it for centuries so why not little old me.
I began to research further, googling “planting corn kernels” and found that most people had success with planting corn using organic varieties.
Kernels from the store may work but those on my google findings said that store-bought corn is stored in silos for years and the success rate of the kernel germinating would be small.
Well because I like being a winner I did not want to fail right out of the gate at my first attempt I looked for a grain mill near me and found this really amazing one in Dripping Springs, TX called Barton Springs Mill.
Barton Springs Mill’s online store has a variety of corn and flour freshly ground and also available in just the whole kernel for the purpose of grinding it yourself to cook delicious meals from scratch (which I still have plans for).
I purchased two varieties, a Oaxacan green corn and a yellow open pollinated corn.
I figured I have to try growing corn I know for sure my family would eat and the yellow open pollinated corn would be perfect for that.
The Oaxacan green corn on the other hand was something very different.
Oaxacan Green corn is a dent variety and historically was prominent among the Zapotec, used in tamales and tortillas.
It’s flavor profile is nutty with earthy aromas and can also be used in grits and cornmeal.
The Open pollinated yellow corn is a more traditional sweet corn variety.
For the germination process we used what we had on hand which were plastic egg crates in which we placed some soil, the kernel and peat moss.
The warmth in the greenhouse provided the perfect atmosphere and heat for germination.
We watered twice a day, with a spray bottle morning and night.
I could not believe it, but they sprouted in three days!
By day seven they were about five inches tall and we figured it was time to transplant them.
Here’s where I hope we did not go wrong. We transplanted them in biodegradable bags and placed them in the ground.
We have been applying 1 to 2 inches of water per week.
Also, we have been fertilizing with fish nutrients about once per week. This stuff is stinky so beware, a few tablespoons diluted with water goes a long way.
It’s been an exciting adventure so far and quite the conversation piece around our dinner table with our son.
We will continue to show the progress as the corn grows.