Heirloom corn has always been a popular vegetable and a much enjoyable snack when freshly harvested. Although, the departmental store might give you numerous varieties of this sweet corn, we all tend to look for fresher ones and the only way to get fresh flavor of corn is to grow some of your own.
With that being said, you no longer have to look for the hybrid qualities that come out in departmental stores, but can switch your garden to a complete organic one by planting heirloom varieties. For those who doubt – is it possible to make heirloom popcorn? Yes it definitely is.
Moreover, you get to own some of the most amazing varieties in corn that you might have never seen before.
How to grow corn?
Planting corn is extremely easy but as with any other heirloom plants one needs to avoid frost at any cost. Once the frost is over you can directly seed or plant them. Like any other heirloom plants these corns are pollinated by the winds, so it does best if you can plant them in blocks rather than rows. Pollens needs to go from the male to the female, so keeping the plants closer means more contact.
Wind pollination also results in successful cross-pollination. So you can experiment your type of variety by keeping different types of corn together.
What type of soil is needed for growing corn?
Choose a loose, well drained soil to plant and grow corn. Heavy soils stop the growth of long roots. If you are planting sweet corn you can be sure that it is a long season crop. If you need to extend your harvest, plant different varieties that harvest at different periods so you can expect harvest every season.
Corns require heavy and rich nitrogen soil. Since corn is basically a grass they need nitrogen for its growth. You might have heard many Native American stories of burying a dead fish with corn seeds. This is definitely a practical method to supplement nitrogen. You can also put in an inch of compost or manure to make it give high yields.
Watering is quite important and must be done regularly, especially if you notice that the corn leaves are curling up and the cobs are beginning to swell. Once the plant grows around 8 inches tall you can apply nitrogen fertilizer and again when they start producing tassels.
The only pest problem that you would encounter with corn is animals, so just like the Native Americans try to plant squash under corn plants. This helps animals to stay away as they don’t like to step on the prickly leaves. However, this might also be difficult for you during the harvesting season.
Finding varieties of heirloom corn is not a difficult task at all because all you need to do is to take a peek into your local nursery or check out heirloom sales among your local gardening hobbyist.