Looking for interesting heritage or heirloom corn varieties?
must be at least 65ºF for corn seeds to germinate but this is at the
bottom end of the scale.
Optimal conditions are between 77ºF an 84ºF. Be patient or you will
waste a lot of seed! Plant in full sun and keep it
watered. Corn is a wind-pollinated plant. Plant in blocks
several rows wide to ensure full ears.
seeds about one-half to one inch deep. They can be planted in rows,
three to four
inches apart, in spaced twenty four to thirty inches between rows. Thin to
six to twelve inches apart.
I plant three to four seed in in the shape of a four inch triangle or
square every foot.
Improving Your Odds
Starting seed in cell trays or small
pots in the hothouse provides optimal germination conditions and
therefore higher germination rates. It also allows you to start seeds
earlier than normal while waiting for the ground to warm up and dry
out and become workable. Another added benefit is that the stands are
more evenly spaced and it eliminates the need to follow the old corn
"One for the cutworm, one for the
crow, one to rot, and one to grow"
Take care when removing the plants from
the pots and transplanting into your garden. The roots are a bit tender and they
will be adversely affected by rough handling.
We began using this method when we
started growing rare varieties and only had small samples of seeds to work with. We
needed to ensure the highest germination rates as possible - every
seed had to count.
Mike's Great-uncle Art had been growing corn this way for many, many years
with excellent success. The pictures below show a typical
grow-out (this one happened to be from 2004).