Saturday, June 7, 2008

Failed Attempts at Growing Corn & 1 Yellow Tomato

I’ve heard that corn always tastes best right after it is harvested. But I think it’s hard to grow because of how it pollinates. You need lots of sun and lots of corn plants. I’d love to think the square foot garden method works for every vegetable and fruit, but it probably doesn’t. For success at growing corn, I would need to fill each square with corn. Unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury. Cam and I had planned to build more SFG boxes, but with the arrival of Luca, we don’t currently have the time.

To compensate, I tried another experiment. (Yep, I love experimenting). This time, however, I think this will be a failed experiment. I had a few small stalks of corn, so I transplanted them into the same SFG box. Two stalks per divided square. My hope was that this was close enough for the pollination to work.

Below: The corn after it was first transplanted. See how healthy and happy it looks! So green!

Unfortunately, this experiment is doomed. A week later, the corn isn’t getting any taller and its leaves are beginning to yellow. It’s rather sad to see my corn slowly die… (See below)

This time, I won't pull it out like I did the cucumbers. I'm going to let it die on its own. And if it miraculously survives, I'll be ecstatic. But I'm not going to get my hopes up. I'll continue to water, but I'm going to think it's a lost cause.

Another rather depressing fact: I had planted seeds in empty squares in box # 2, and the corn seedlings are also yellowing. They aren't getting any bigger, and I have no idea what to do. I was planning to transplant them after Cam builds a new box, but I doubt that they will survive much longer.

Below: The baby corn seedlings

Well on the bright side, I planted two rows of corn at my parents’ house. Since my dad has a green thumb, I’m hoping that I can harvest fresh corn by the end of the summer. Let’s cross our fingers! He’s using a raised bed, but the beds are long enough for rows. I’ll keep you updated on that development as it comes! (I believe corn is traditionally grown in rows.)

I’ll end on a positive note. After impatiently waiting, one of my cherry tomatoes has started to turn yellow! I’m hoping that more tomatoes will follow its path and start turning. What joy it will be when I can pick cherry and grape tomatoes for my salads!

Above: The new yellow tomato! Sorry for the blurriness. It was a windy day!


Dawn said...

Corn is very, very hard. I have to have a scarecrow because lots of times the squirrels get the ears, heard a paper lunch bag will help in prventing that. Even put jars lids upside down with beer in it! Slugs were cutting the stalks off, they like beer, would go to the lid and drown. Worked!

Aimee said...

Bad news! My corn is turning yellow too. At first it was just a little but I'm really starting to get concerned. My gardner friend is telling me it needs nitrogen? I have no idea what this means or if it's organic or what?! I REALLY want corn!!!!

tina said...

Before you guys (DP and Aimee) give it nitrogen, you might get a soil test. Most veggie gardens, if properly prepared with a lot of compost already have enough nitrogen. It may be the soil ph, or the sudden heat, or moisture problems. DP, I grew corn ONE year. It was a pain. I garden similar to your style and my block was one whole bed but I still only got four ears of corn. But boy oh boy were they ever good! Gave it up, cheaper to buy it. After I harvested the corn the stalks died and withered away. I wish they would continue to produce like other veggies. Also, love the kitty cats name. Hi Dawn!

DP Nguyen said...

Hmm, thanks for the tips everyone. I might try the soil test, Tina. Everyone says corn is very hard, so this may be the first and only year that I'll grow it! *sighs* but 4 ears is better than nothing! :-)

Gail said...

Again, the not a vegetable grower here...but I think a soil test is in order! When I started reading todays post My thought first was..where did DP get her soil? Whatever you decide, good luck.


Dave said...

I'd like to grow corn also but that will have to wait until next year at this point. If your raised beds are large enough you could do corn in them but like you said it takes a great deal of space to get a productive corn crop.