Growing and Fertilizing Corn
On this week’s episode, Travis is discussing the best way to fertilize corn in the vegetable garden. When planting corn in the garden it is known to be a heavy-feeder that needs lots of water and fertilizer in order to produce healthy plants. Earlier in the Spring, Travis planted Truckers Favorite Yellow Corn in the garden using the Hoss Garden Seeder. The best tool for planting seeds in the garden is our garden seeder because it has six different modified seed plates that are adjustable for a variety of seed sizes. Since corn is a heavy-feeder, Travis highly recommends burying drip tape irrigation to feed the plant roots effectively all throughout the growing season. There are two different ways to fertilize corn in the garden such as side-dressing or with a fertilizer injector. Side-dressing means you make a furrow down the side or along the row and put granular fertilizer in the furrow. Then, once water enters the soil it leaches the fertilizer and makes it available to the plants in the garden. However, the best way to fertilize corn according to Travis is using the EZ-Flo fertilizer injector and the drip irrigation system. It can be hooked up to any of your water sources such as a water hose or faucet and quickly adds fertilizer to your vegetable garden. The EZ-Flo works with any kind of water-soluble fertilizer like fish emulsion, Chilean nitrate, 20-20-20, and many others. Travis demonstrates using the 20-20-20 fertilizer which is made up of 20% nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus. To set up the fertilizer injector you simply attach it to either a water hose, water faucet, or drip irrigation system. Then, you have a line going in and out of the tank that pumps water into and out of the tank. This also pumps the fertilizer out of the tank into your drip tape or another water system you’re using. The fertilizer injector has four different ratio settings that determine the pressure that the fertilizer is coming out in the garden. Travis prefers to use the fast setting because it takes about two hours to empty all the fertilizer in the injector tank. He usually adds anywhere from two to four cups of the 20-20-20, then dissolve it in a large container, and add it to the fertilizer injector. Overall, the fertilizer injector makes it quick and easy to apply the accurate amount of fertilizer to the garden area. Keep in mind when growing different corn varieties they can all be succession planted meaning you can get two plantings in the garden. Also, when planting corn to get better production it should be planted in a square plot instead of long rows in order to increase pollination purposes. During the warmer months, if you experience corn ear worm pressures, apply Spinosad Garden Insect Spray to the silks and tassels to help reduce further problems in the vegetable garden.
Heirloom & Hybrid Corn Varieties
There are several different varieties of corn that we have available at Hoss Tools. We offer older heirloom varieties such as Jimmy Red, Silver Queen, Hickory King, Truckers Favorite, Stowell’s Evergreen, Wapsi Valley and Blue Hopi. These varieties typically are known to be a favorite to many for there excellent flavor profiles and are used as a staple ingredient when cooking a variety of recipes on the homestead. The hybrid varieties of corn include Ambrosia, Honey Select, Incredible, and Peaches and Cream. These varieties tend to have excellent flavor profile, disease/pest resistant characteristics and have more production than heirloom varieties in the vegetable garden. Depending on your preference between heirloom or hybrid varieties they both offer great benefits in the garden.