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Hello Guest!
Welcome to the official Square Foot Gardening Forum.
There's lots to learn here by reading as a guest. However, if you become a member (it's free, ad free and spam-free) you'll have access to our large vermiculite databases, our seed exchange spreadsheets, Mel's Mix calculator, and many more members' pictures in the Gallery. Enjoy.

growing corn I22gcj10growing corn 14dhcg10

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Post  efnjim 4/10/2013, 10:21 am

mel's first book said to space corn one per square. mel's second book said space corn 4 per square. maybe a miss print?
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Post  gwennifer 4/10/2013, 10:28 am

Nope, not a misprint. He updated it. Many people on here have indeed grown corn 4/square.
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Post  Gunny 4/10/2013, 11:58 am

Commercial growers have even tighter spacing of about 3-4 inches apart in their fields. A record was set down here a few years ago on the total yield per acre.
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Post  llama momma 4/10/2013, 12:12 pm

4 to a square: this variety was a 6-7 ft. tall variety, at least in my experience, called peaches and cream I believe. If you were growing those 10-12 ft. monsters maybe keep it to 1 per square?
growing corn May_1_10

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Post  efnjim 4/10/2013, 1:13 pm

thank you for the information. look like i will have a lot more corn this year. thanks again.
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Post  jmsieglaff 4/10/2013, 1:44 pm

And do remember that maximizes your corn per square foot--you'll get more ears, but each ear will be smaller--but still more corn when it's all said and done.
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growing corn Empty garlic last year

Post  efnjim 4/10/2013, 2:06 pm

growing corn Dscn0821
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Post  efnjim 4/10/2013, 2:26 pm

growing corn Dscn1110
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growing corn Empty 2009 starting to make thing a little neater

Post  efnjim 4/10/2013, 2:30 pm

growing corn Dscn1111
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Post  littlejo 4/11/2013, 12:09 am

I grew mine 4 per sq (Silver queen) It gets 9 ft. tall, 2 ears per stalk, and the size of ears was not any smaller than in my garden of past. I added some compost when planted, and after it came up and after about 2 weeks, I added some more compost, for corn is a heavy feeder.
Lots of corn-4 x 8= 32 x4=128 stalks X 2ears per stalk=256 ears from a 4 x 8 bed!
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Post  llama momma 4/11/2013, 5:12 am

This was my first attempt (ever) growing "peaches and cream"
variety in 2011. Back then I didn't know know about side dressing either. Thumbs up for Mels Mix. Very Happy
growing corn Gina_s10
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Post  Gunny 4/11/2013, 10:56 am

First attempt this year. I have two varieties growing in the feeders. Three of each per feeder. Also put some in in the compost station that has become a squash garden full of butternuts. In a week or two will add the pole beans there.
The feeders have six corn, six beans and three squash type plants per feeder. Wish me luck on this experiment.
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Post  Hoggar 4/11/2013, 11:26 am

I am planning on doing a 3 sisters box. Do I still plant my corn 4 to a square and scatter the beans through the rest of the square?
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Post  Pepper 4/11/2013, 1:25 pm

Now this I gotta try. LM what do you side dress with and how much ?
I would be doing a 4x8 ft box. I guess the fencing on the outside is to prevent wind "mishaps".
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Post  llama momma 4/11/2013, 1:31 pm

Hogger, I don't have any 3 sisters experience, others on the forum do, or you can try the search box.
Pepper, this year I'll probably side dress with more compost, to see if it makes any difference. How much you ask? Honestly I don't know. Perhaps a big old handfull around each stalk.
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Post  Dunkinjean 4/11/2013, 3:46 pm

I am also trying my first three sisters garden in a 4x8 box. I am doing 4 corn per square, then will add a bean per corn. Along the north side with a trellis I am planting butternut squash.
The other two corners will have pumpkins.
I am trying to be patient to plant the corn as the 1st step! Very Happy
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Post  llama momma 4/11/2013, 4:26 pm

Pepper, to answer your other question about the chicken wire around the corn, it was to keep out racoons and my barn cats. It didn't help with heavy wind, I had to stand the stalks up several times. This year I'll use additional chicken wire horizontally the way mel describes in the book. The corn will grow through it, stay upright, and keep out crows.
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Post  Pepper 4/11/2013, 4:35 pm

Thank you again LM you rock
I have heard you could just do the Florida weave at a few levels if the wind were all you were concerned with. I had not considered the birds. Is there something you need to spray them with to prevent the 'silk worms' for lack of their proper name?
Right now I am out of space the misses wants to do squash and cukes in my only empty box this week end. I did move one of the bushes so have space for another box. That may put me beyond the window for corn this year.
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Post  Hoggar 4/11/2013, 4:39 pm

I've got 12 corn in my greenhouse I'm waiting on to sprout as soon as they come up I'll start 12 more and so on till my box is full. Ill be planting 12 squares of corn with peas or beans in each square and the four corner squares will have squash in each of them.
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Post  llama momma 4/11/2013, 4:51 pm

Pepper, Perhaps you mean corn earworm? I was lucky not to have an infestation. I kept looking for it too because I had experience seeing it in my past life working in the ag dept. at an agriculture college. Another thing I learned was you don't want to grow sweet corn near a farm that's growing cow corn/field corn. It is less sweet and more starchy. Will cross with yours and do the same. How far away then? I forget but when I looked it up online it was something like a few thousand feet I think. :scratch:
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Post  quiltbea 7/18/2013, 8:34 pm

I remember reading somewhere that when the silks begin, you should dribble some mineral oil on the silks to prevent earworm.  Has anyone tried this?
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Post  murarrie25 7/18/2013, 8:38 pm

Planted red corn and some of the corn cobs  harvested where completely yellow so what you harvest may not be what is planted.
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Post  Turan 7/19/2013, 1:01 pm

quiltbea wrote:I remember reading somewhere that when the silks begin, you should dribble some mineral oil on the silks to prevent earworm.  Has anyone tried this?

 Yeah, it is how I dealt with corn ear worms when in SD.  Don't put it on the silks as such, put it into the husks, in the tunnel the silks go through the husks.  There is a certain point in time that is important too, because you can hurt pollenation if done too soon and miss the larvae if done too late.  I think you can add Bt to the oil for extra punch as well.

A good description of the process~
[url=http://www.pfi.iastate.edu/ofr/Crops/SA14_Protecting_Sweet_Corn_from_Corn_Earworm_w_Oil_and Btk.pdf]“When the silks were turning brown, I treated. I used a quart oil can treat - ing the plots with (refined) soybean vegetable oil and Btk. (3 teaspoons per quart of oil)... I placed a small squirt from the can on the tip of each ear as quickly as I could.” Research elsewhere has used as much as one part Btk to five parts oil, applying about 0.5 ml (1/10 teaspoon) to the silk where it enters the silk channel (Hazzard et al., 2003). If the Btk is a powdered prod - uct, a food grade emulsifier such as lecithin may be added as well (Hazzard, 2001). In some of those trials mineral oil was a little more effective than veg - etable oil, but mineral oil is not permitted for use on commercial food crops unless it is part of a registered pesticide. In the Guthries’ organic system, a refined vegetable oil was the clear choice. “It is very important that treatment is done two days after full silk, when the silks are beginning to brown. Too-early treatment causes non-pollination at the tips of the ears. I treated Incredible (the variety) perhaps a couple of days too early and had a fair number of ears that were not filled out. They would still be clean ears but just not filled out. If you treat too late, you will get less effective control of the corn earworm.”[/url]


Last edited by Turan on 7/19/2013, 1:06 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : found a useful link)

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Post  quiltbea 7/19/2013, 9:53 pm

Turan....Thanks for the information.  Could be useful.
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Post  lyndeeloo 7/19/2013, 10:30 pm

First time growing corn this year. I didn't expect anything. Just thought it would be fun to try. Planted 4 squares butter and sugar, 4 squares early sweet corn and 4 squares popcorn. Each in a different garden so they wouldn't be too close to each other. It has been so interesting watching them grow, tassel and silk. Yesterday I noticed the ears were curling on the butter and sugar. I was a little sad because they had looked so good I thought maybe we'd get some corn. I looked it up on the internet and it says they were not properly pollinated, not enough plants in the rows. The husks had started to open up exposing unformed kernels, so I decided to pick one just to see what was going on....
Holy Corn Balls Batman
growing corn Img_1714
I was so excited, we'd actually grown some corn! They are so small and so ugly that they are almost cute. It doesn't matter... they were DELICIOUS!! The early sweet isn't ready yet, still way too small, so I left those alone. We'll see what happens with those and the popcorn. Gardening is such joy. Heartbreaking sometimes, too, but these little ears of corn just made my day! Next year I will plant more seeds, but just one variety.
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