So much about gardening is about thinking ahead. It is almost July and everyone is thinking of cookouts and trips to the beach, but now is the time to think about your fall harvest. More importantly your fall decor.
Indian corn is a crop that is easy and fun to grow. Have you looked at the prices in the craft stores for fall displays? It is fun and easy to grow your own unique displays, and it is a myth that you need a lot of space. Indian Corn can be grown anywhere that there is at least 8 hours of sunlight and it doesn't take up that much room. I love growing corn in containers.
When growing in a container, the container needs to be at least 12 inches deep for corn. An 18 in x 18 in pot, 12 inches deep will grow 6 plants. My favorite potting mixture is 1 part Sungrow Fafard 3 b mix to 1 part Black Cow. You may purchase this from any local gardening store along with your NON GMO Indian Corn seed. You will not need much seed, so just ask for the minimum amount.
While there, buy a small bag of Nitrogen. Nitrogen is derived from the air, so it's not registered as organic- but it is very close. If you want to go certified organic, buy blood meal- of course this is not vegan.
Organic, nearly organic, vegan- the options are endless, however the option to feed your crops are not. Corn needs to be fed , meaning fertilized, every 3 weeks.
But of course you need to plant the seeds first. Plant corn in your 18 in pot, ½ in deep and 2 inches apart. If taking the back roads on vacation, you will see endless rows of corn. This is one way of doing it. However, most Native Americans did not plant this way. They mostly planted their corn in bunches. The Native American way is great for small yards.
Corn needs to be planted close in order to pollinate. This is because corn mostly pollinates by wind. Planting your seeds close insures proper pollination and as a bonus- it means your whole yard will not be a corn field.
In around 80-100 days, it will be time to harvest your corn. With most sweet corn, you want to harvest when the golden silk turns brown. Indian corn is for decoration, so you will want it to dry out first, so harvest Indian Corn 2 weeks after the silk has turned brown.
There are so many ways to decorate for fall using your Indian Corn. Pinterest has some fabulous ideas, such as wreaths, table center pieces and yard decorations using the whole corn stalk. Be sure to share with us how you use your harvest. As always- keep it local and happy gardening.
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