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:
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.
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.
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.