To assure good pollination, you need to grow at least four rows but I think we have 8 or 9 rows of probably 12 plants each. That’s a lot of corn for 4 people considering its only at its peak for less than a week and we are battling the raccoons for their share.
It’s the only vegetable that we don’t compete over but we all pitch in to grow. Although I have to admit, McGyver has gotten more particular about how we do grow it… I’m a little more laid back about planting in straight rows so he now pulls sticks from the fire pit, stings a line between them and runs a measuring tape to assure 1′ intervals. I used to pre-sprout the seeds in a mayonnaise jar filled with a little water for a day or so but gave up on this as being unnecessary. We usually start with fresh seeds each year, so germination is good; I’d go back to this method if using last year’s seeds. While he may want straight rows, I’d be bothered by a missing plants. We sow 2 or 3 seeds so I don’t get an anxiety attack over a lack of symmetry.
This year, my youngest son did the hole digging with a dibbler that I once got for planting bulbs. It was useless for that but with its measured planting depth marks on the side, it is very useful for corn. Since we started using this and getting the seeds in the proper depth, we have had very little issue with storms blowing down the stalks.
Once the seedlings are tall enough to rise above a layer of grass mulch, I take over weeding and mulching while everyone else is busy cutting grass on the tractor. The grass does a good job of keeping down the weeds so that I only have to go back through a couple times for stragglers. Once the corn is above your knees, it is too difficult to get down the rows. Which brings me to today’s decision to plant one less row so I can actually get in to pick the corn.
The final challenge will be to pick it all and give it out, eat it, freeze it or make recipes with it to freeze before the raccoons demolish it.