Planting Field Corn
On this week’s episode, Travis is planting a popular variety of field corn in the vegetable garden. The best time to plant corn is during the warmer months up until the fall. When growing field corn it is nearly impossible without drip tape irrigation. Since field corn stalks grow tall in the garden the overhead irrigation will not water the roots as effectively as the drip tape. Using our Double Wheel Hoe with the Drip Tape Layer attachment is the perfect tool for laying drip tape fast and effectively in the vegetable garden. With drip irrigation buried and compost laid down in the trenches, we are ready for planting field corn. The compost is used as a soil amendment in order to help develop the field corn in the vegetable garden. To begin planting the Truckers Favorite field corn we recommend using our walk-behind garden seeder. The garden seeder allows us to accurately plant without wasting any seeds by overplanting. Another benefit of using our garden seeder is the six seed plates that are modified for a variety of different seed sizes. The truckers favorite variety of field corn that Travis is planting works great with our #6 seed plate. The seed plate has four holes so around a four and a half-inch spacing will work great for the field corn. With the garden seeder depth adjusted to one inch, Travis can plant field corn directly on top of the drip tape without worrying about puncturing or cutting into the drip tape. During the warmer months, to avoid corn ear worm pressures we prefer to apply Spinosad Garden Insect Spray to the silks and tassels to control these insect problems. The silks and tassels are important for pollination because they make the kernels on the corn produce. Without good pollination of plants, you cannot have a good harvest of field corn in the vegetable garden.
Succession Planting & Squared Plots
It is recommended to succession plant field corn because you can maximize yields and utilize space in the garden area. With field corn, two succession plantings are available in the early spring and in late summer/early fall. This extends harvesting times for crops and allows for a constant supply to harvest in the garden. Instead of planting field corn in long rows along the garden area, they should be planted in square plots or subplots. The squared plot ensures pollination is happening for the silks and tassel to produce kernels on the cob. When growing field corn in long rows this will result in poor germination and absence of kernels on the cob from insufficient pollination. Another benefit of planting in square plots is the ability to incorporate crop rotation in the garden. Crop rotation is important for several crops because when planting in the same area year after year it can cause many problems in the vegetable garden. One issue of not rotating crops is the reduction of soil nutrients and causing crops to be less fertile. When planting the same crop in the same area every season it can cause the garden soil to be drained of the same nutrients needed for plant growth leaving the garden unable to supply nutrients and produce healthy plants. When alternating between different crops the supply of nutrients can be replenished based on the varieties of crops being grown in the area. Crop rotation helps establish improved soil stability by alternating between deep and shallow roots of different crops in the garden. Overall, good crop rotation can produce healthier plants and improve the maximum yield in the vegetable garden.