Time To Start My Corn Seedlings

Today I planted some corn. I’ve never planted corn as indoor seedlings before, but after attending the Veggie Basics Course held by Alberta Agriculture, I’m thinking that a three week head start on the season might just be what my corn needs. Why? Because for the last two years this is about all I got…

Cornless Corn

Just nice looking plants. Not much to eat though. So after Jennifer from www.alibisrandom.blogspot.com reminded me that it is “only three more weeks until garden time”, I decided it was time to start some corn.

I had planned on one large corn patch of two varieties, but after reading a little about corn, I discovered that you may not get the kind of corn you want if you plant two varieties. In order to stay true to the variety of corn you plant, different varieties must be at least 100 ft. apart (so they say). I have two garden patches this year, so if I plant corn in the farthest edges of the two, they’ll end up being about 60 ft apart. So that’ll have to do. If it isn’t far enough – well, hopefully the corn I’m starting now will be finished pollinating before the later corn is ready to begin. And if that still doesn’t work out, maybe I’ll get funny corn. Either way, it’s worth a try.

So the variety that I’m planting today is ‘Fleet Bi-color’. Its very early for corn – just 59 days. If I’m calculating right, that should give me corn on July 26th. Hmmm, I’m not sure I’m that optimistic.

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8 Responses to Time To Start My Corn Seedlings

  1. Jennifer says:

    AHA! I just learned yesterday that people do start corn seedlings….I haven’t started corn before, ( neither have my parents) but after last year…hmmmm….I think it may be worth a try. We didn’t get a very great crop…:( My parents also plant their corn in patches….not long rows…..it has to do with pollination. I am planting “Obsession” hybrid sweet corn from Stokes….79 days….I better get planting! EH? :)

    How many plants are you starting???

  2. Dave says:

    Since the top tassels of the corn (pictured above) must drop pollen onto each individual hair of the corn cobs below, blocks are a must in order for good pollination. Otherwise the pollen just drifts onto your spuds, and what good would that be!?

    My indoor light is very limited, so I’ve only got about 50 plants seeded. I’ll probably sow 4 to 6 times that direct in the garden.

  3. Amy says:

    I’d love to try corn someday. I’m curious, do you grow it in raised beds like your other veggies?

  4. Dave says:

    So far, no. In recent years I’ve just grown it in my traditional garden. This year I’ll be growing in the traditional garden plus a patch in my mulched garden. (Where you’ll see no black dirt or weeds – just mulch around everything.) We’ll see how it goes.

  5. warren says:

    I live in southern california and have grown dwarf corn in 5 gallon buckets before and it has worked. I am getting ready to start seedlings that are supposed to be 7 to 8 ft. plants I was wondering if it is possible to grow them in 5 gallon or maybe 10 gallon buckets. I know with the dwarf corn I had to water a lot and another problem is ants out here. They usually destrow half of the crop. Thanks for any help
    Warren

  6. Kathy Miller says:

    We live if the high desert, Lancaster California, and have had trouble in the past with ground rodents eating the roots of different vegetables. ie; tomatoes, squash, pumpkins. This year we want to try corn, and are wondering if ground rodents are a concern. Wehave a few Rosemary plants and the critters leave them alone. Both above and below the ground. We also have a plethora of rabbits and again, they leave the rosemary alone. Do you have trouble with rodents and your corn?

    Thank You,

    Kathy Miller

    • Dave says:

      Kathy – I haven’t had an issue with rodents. I’ve had birds come and peck off the sprouts of my peas, but never any rodents.

  7. Getty says:

    Thanks for the idea Dave. My gardening neighbour gave me a couple of seedlings that he started inside. I used them to mark my rows – great inspiration! We just planted our last corn seeds today, now waiting for rain. We get too excited about different varieties at the gardening store, so we’ve planted 3 varieties in very close quarters at the risk of getting some very unique corn! It worked last year, as my daughter is showing. Hope all is well in Alberta.
    Your Manitoba gardening friend.
    Getty
    [img]http://www.albertahomegardening.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/05/P1010001-1.JPG[/img]

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