Category: Garden Vegetable Plants
Facts about Corn. "Scientific name for Corn is Zea mays". Corn: From the tiny kernel to the buttery cob
Corn is historically one of the longest cultivated and domesticated vegetables in human history, right up there with barely, wheat, beans and potatoes. Part of the reason we have such a long and rich history with corn is because it is such an easy plant to seed, grow and cook up. That being said, easy is a relative term and sometimes a little bit of guidance can take you from a brown thumb to a green thumb in no time.
Thankfully, as already stated, corn is relatively easy to grow. You want to locate a fairly large section of your garden to grow it in, that has a sandy or "loamy" quality to the soil. This is to ensure that the corn has proper drainage, soft soil to sink it's roots into and so that it gets plenty of nutrients from the clay, sand and silt. Loamy soil also tends to provide a bit more pest resistance, which is important for anyone looking to grow corn that they can actually eat when harvest season rolls around.
Make sure that the earth your bury your corn seeds into, has lots of sun, but is partially shady during the hottest parts of the day. If you can, it's also preferable to plant your corn on the west side of your home or garden, as this gives it key access to the late day sun after the heat of the day has mostly passed. If you only have a choice between a sunny or a shady spot, definitely go with the sunny spot. Your corn plant would much prefer to be in too much sun than too much shade.
Before you start digging up your plot, it's important to consider what type of corn you wish to grow and whether you'll sow from the seed or a small seedling. If this is your first time, it's definitely suggested that you start with a seedling, as it's much easier to get a corn plant to fruit if it's been properly nurtured through the first part of it's life; a stage that often proves challenging for beginners. As for which type of corn to grow, there are so many choices. You have sweet corn, black corn, blue corn, white corn and so many others. For beginners, whether you go with a seed or a seedling, the easiest and healthiest option is an organic heirloom yellow corn or black corn. It's not as a sweet as sweet corn (the kind usually used for corn on the cob), but it still tastes great and as a bonus you can freely keep the seeds for planting next year.
Once you've decided on what type of corn to plant and where to plant it, you want to make sure to get your corn babies out into the land by mid spring. You can wait a little longer if you need to, but corn can take a very long time to mature it's cobs. So the longer it has in the nice summer heat, the better. Make sure that you give your corn plenty of water, especially if you local summer climate goes about 75*F without rain on a regular basis. You don't want your soil to be so wet you have day and night puddles, but you don't want your corn plant to get dehydrated either. Thankfully, it's easy enough to tell if your corn is getting enough water, as you will see at least a few inches of steady growth in length and width, with a healthy stalk.
You'll notice the corn cobs coming in fairly early, soon before they are mature. It's especially important not to mess with them during this time. It's tempting to take a peak inside the silky ears, but you could mess with the growth cycle if you do this and then they won't be ready when it's time to harvest the others. You'll notice that the ears of corn have begun to mature when you see little white hairs poking out from the top of the ears. Once those hairs have turned deep purple or black, it won't belong before they'll be on your dinner table. After the hairs have changed colors, the cobs will begin to sag and lean away from the stalk. This is when you want to check them for ripeness and harvest them as they become ready. A good rule of thumb during this time, is that when the corn kernels are not longer white, the ear is ready. The darker in color you allow the kernels to become, the better they will taste.
Corn always has an even number of rows on each cob. An ear of corn on average has 800 kernels in 16 rows. Corn part of the grass family that is a cereal crop.
Corn is also used and processed as a major element in many foods like potato chips, peanut butter, cooking oil, ice cream, cereals, soups, marshmallows, chewing gum, baby food, mayonnaise, salad dressing.Once you've got your ears in your cornucopia, you can butter, boil or steam them as you like best!