4 October 2012, by gj
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to just grow your own Autumn decorations, and have no need for something made in a factory far, far away?
Ornamental gourds are one good way, as well as pumpkins and decorative corn stalks.
Here’s another you may not have tried:
look up, way up
Also known as ‘sorghum’ broomcorn is planted the same way as sweet corn.
One difference you’ll easily see is that the broomcorn can get to be 10 ft. tall and more.
It also does not form ears, but is grown for its beautiful ‘straw’ which can be used in floral arrangements, wreaths and other decorations, or to make brooms.
When the stalks are ready to harvest they may bend down like this one, or you can wait for them to turn brown.
pick me pick me!
Hanging them upside down will help the straw to dry a little straighter.
You can then remove the seeds to keep for next year or leave attached for the pretty colors.
This is our first time growing sorghum, and we’re thinking perhaps we’ll hang it on the front of the house with some smaller ears of colorful corn.
what the squirrels missed
Next year we want to try to grow enough to make a broom; which can of course, double as a Halloween Costume accessory.
Maybe not for Mandolin though.
Botanical name: Sorghum bicolor
Days to maturity: long, about 4 months
Yield: One stalk per seed planted
Height: 10 ft. or more
Harvest: When stalks dry or bend over
Storage: dry completely or use fresh and discard
Seed: annual heirloom
Tip: Fish fertilizer helps corn and broomcorn grow healthier.
Categories: corn, how to grow, useful and decorative
28 February 2011, by gj
here they come
All Corn is grown the same way regardless of what kind it is, here’s how:
Make holes 1 inch deep and 8 inches apart, in blocks or squares- think of the number 5 on a die.
Put a tiny piece of fish in each hole, then the seed. Cover with soil and water lightly.
Keep the soil moist until the seedlings pop through.
If you want fresh corn for a longer period of time, make successive plantings every few weeks.
Plant some winter squash and pole beans in with your corn. These plants, known as the Three Sisters of the Field help each other.
The corn supports the beans, the beans in turn add nitrogen to the soil.
The vining squash help deter deer.
When about half of your corn is producing silks, you are about 2-3 weeks away from fresh eating.
The tassels above drop pollen on the silks below when the wind blows.
You can also help out by giving the corn stalks a little shake.
Since the corn will pollinate itself and/or other ears, I’d suggest you separate different kinds of corn- for example, sweet corn and decorative corn – from each other.
When you see the silks have turned reddish brown, it’s a sure sign your corn has been pollinated.
Corn grows very shallow and can easily be blown over.
Simply prop it back up and firm some more soil around the roots.
hybrid baby corn
Botanical name: Zea mays
Yield: Each seed will produce 1 stalk which will yield 1-2 ears. Baby corn stalks produce many tiny ears.
Mandolin’s favorite way to cook corn is to wrap it in tin foil, adding a little beer for moisture.
Seal and grill. While you wait, drink the rest of the beer.
Be sure to have plenty of napkins. And plenty of beer.
The YouTube Video
Mandolin’s Stir Fry
Categories: corn, how to grow
8 September 2010, by gj
We don’t eat a lot of corn on the cob in the Jones household, and the fact that there are so many farms in our area that grow it
-making it easy to get-
I don’t waste my garden space on it.
We do eat a lot of vegetable stir fry though, so I grow ‘baby corn’.
You need to buy seeds specific for this type of corn, these were purchased from Seeds of Change.
Growing conditions are the same as any corn, some tips include: planting a little piece of fish with each seed, plant in ‘box of 3×3’ or ‘groups’ rather than a row -this is because corn is wind pollinated and will be more likely to get pollinated if not in a row.
stalks 2 weeks before picking
The stalks will get to be 4-6 feet high, and harvesting begins about 5 days after you first see the silks.
You can get 6-12 ears per stalk, some plants grow multiple stalks.
Even after you start picking, more ears develop below. So don’t pull out the stalk too soon.
ready to pick
You shuck the corn the same way as regular corn, except that you need to be careful not to break the little buggers.
preshuck, midshuck, shucked
with roma tomato
I used to freeze the corn, but Mandolin likes to have his stir fry ingredients handy (and not have to rummage through the freezer).
So instead I throw them into large canning jars, cover with pickling liquid, and refrigerate.
An interesting note I just discovered today. You can let the corn stay on the stalk for an extra 7 weeks, then pick, shuck and cut off the cob for popping corn.
Now you know I’ll have to try that!
More info on harvesting your veggies
After thinking about comment below, I made the second batch using a 1/2 gal. canning jar filled with fresh baby corn and 1.5 oz sliced ginger (1/2 jar). I dissolved 3 cup sugar, 3/4 cup cannng salt, in 5 cup white vinegar over heat. Let cool, poured over corn. I like this one better for snacking, Mandolin likes them both for cooking stir fry.
Categories: corn, how to grow