Corn – frequently asked questions

Corn is the most widely produced crop in the entire world. It is considered as whole grain and vegetable at the same time.  Like rice, it is also a staple food in many countries. It is a member of the grass family and grow in a grass-looking stalk and produce ears or cobs. These cobs are used for several food products and ingredients which makes up the 20% of the world’s nutrition. Corns usage extends to cosmetics, medicines, fabrics and several materials.

If you are planning to grow corns, these frequently asked questions should provide you the basics to start your own cornfield someday.

pop corn
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1. How long does corn take to grow?

Corn grows between 60 to 100 days. It depends on the variety of the corn and the soil temperature during the growing season. Corn germinates faster when the soil is warmer. So it important to plant corn when the air temperature is between 60 degrees to 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. How many ears of corn per stalk?

corn ears
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On average, sweet corn and field corn produce one to two ears per stalk. According to agriculturists, the density of the stalks affects the number of ears that corns produce. The less density, the more space for the corns to grow and produce more ears.

There are varieties of field corns that produce between 6 to 10 ears or cobs depending on the size. These are the baby corns that we typically use in salads and dishes.

3. When is corn season?

The corn season varies per country. Since corn thrives better in warmer temperature, the corn harvest season reflects at the end of the summer to fall season. In the US, planting corns start normally from April to June and the harvest season is from June to October. Tropical countries have longer harvest season due to warm weather all throughout the year.

4. How do you harvest corn?

Harvesting corn is easy. Once corn kernels are mature, just hold the corn ear with your hand and twist it on the side. And then pull the ear and yank hard. Use your other hand to steady the stalk. If you are harvesting sweet corns, preserve or prepare it for eating right away as sweet corns lose their sweetness right after harvesting.

5. How do you know corn is ready to harvest?

corn frequently asked questions
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There are several signs that you can check. First off, the tassels must be brown. These are the stuff that looks like hair at the top of the cob. If it’s still green, that means it is not ready yet. The cobs also start to swell when its ready. And lastly, the kernels must be full and milky. You can check this by pulling back the corn silk and squeezing the kernel.

6. Is corn easy to grow?

Growing corn is not that complicated. Corns require minimal aftercare. It needs warm and healthy soil, at least 6 hours of sunlight and a constant supply of water. Weeding and adding fertilizers might also be needed from time to time.

Aside from the basics, it is important to remember that corn needs other corn to grow and produce kernels. Corns are wind pollinated and need pollens from other corns. This is why it is also important to plant them by rows and about a foot apart from each other.

7. Can I grow corn in my backyard?

It is possible to grow corn in your backyard as long as the location meets the basic needs of the plant. It is important that you have rich soil, proper drainage, and good water supply. And that you plant the corn plants that they can pollinate each other properly.

8. How much sun is needed to grow corn?

corn field
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Corn is a summer crop so it is best to plant them where it can get a full sunlight. At the minimum, corn requires at least 6 hours of sunlight. Corn is sensitive to cold and susceptible to frost so avoid planting them during the winter season.

9. Does corn need a lot of water?

Corns need water at least once every week or when the soil starts drying. Pour at least 1 inch of water to the soil. It is important to keep the soil moist and keep it from drying. Drought conditions can result in stunted growth of the corn and lack of kernels.

10. Where does corn grow best?

Aside from the warm weather, corn grows best in sandy loam soil. Sandy loam soil is a rich soil composed of sand, silt, and clay. It has good drainage and normally stays moist without being too wet which is ideal for corn growing. Corns also like slightly acidic soil or has a pH scale of 5.8 to 6.8.

 

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