Corn is one of the most valuable cereals we have in the world, as its rice and wheat. It is part of the fruit vegetable genus. It is very important for our consumption because it provides great nutrients, both to us and animals, in addition to having the raw material used for the production of oil, alcoholic beverages, starch and even fuel.
The origin of corn is very debatable, although some Mesoamerican peoples, such as the Mayas, have many legends in which they explain the history of corn, and above all the importance of food for the progress of their culture. It has even been considered the element from which man was formed. They indicate that sowing corn helps improve both mental well-being and physical health
It has been sown for approximately 4,000 years, forming part of the basis of the American diet. It is an annual grass plant, which has a vegetative development, knotty stem and pot that has about fifteen to thirty elongated leaves. This plant is monoecious, which means that the plants or each plant has both female and male flowers, the leaves take on an elongated shape and their growth occurs next to the stem, in which the so-called ears or ears are born.
The cobs are shaped like a trunk, covered by rows of yellow grains, which form what is the edible part of silver. Each grain is considered a separate fruit. There are many species of corn, usually the one that is planted in home gardens is the type of sweet corn. For all this we will indicate to them how they can begin to make their own sowing of corn, and to be able to enjoy the great variety of benefits that it can give to your life.
Corn can adapt to a wide variety of soils in which good harvests can be given, if they are given the required conditions. In order to carry out its adequate sowing it is necessary to take into consideration diverse factors, among them the irrigation. The planting of corn needs a lot of water, which is why it is necessary to properly monitor the hydration we give it, especially when they begin to form the ears.
Before proceeding with sowing, an intense irrigation must be carried out in order to have a fairly humid soil, which will favour germination. However, the soil should be as dry as possible, so water the plants at least once a week.
The recommended irrigation is the drip irrigation, this for the efficiency that has this type of irrigation to conserve wet soil. Corn requires approximately 2.5 cms of water per week. The fact that it is not properly irrigated, its grains will not grow.
The most recommendable thing is to be able to install a system that does the irrigation for the land, since, when doing the irrigation from above, there will be a great probability that the pollen will be eliminated from the plant. It is important to know that corn is pollinated with the wind.
Drip irrigation in a corn plantation
The irrigation must be greater when the flowering begins this is to be able to have more abundant cobs. Watering should be reduced when the ear is well formed and the grains are hardened, thus allowing the plants to dry out. Care should also be taken when watering, not to wet the stems, because this will attract pests.
This plant is very rigorous in terms of nutrients, so it is very necessary to be able to take into account a soil well fertilized and very rich in humus. We recommend a good bottom fertilizer, this carry out with compost that is well decomposed. It is necessary to know that the corn does not tolerate or allows of good way the fresh manure.
As we indicated previously, for the sowing of the corn, besides that the soil must be well fertilized, it must be dry. We indicate that before carrying out the sowing, the fertilizer must be added to the ground, this to carry out it during about 4 weeks, this will give him more time so that it can be mixed suitably with the ground. It is highly recommended to make the planting in a field that has just planted peas, this because the corn prefers the soil rich in nitrogen and is well fertilized, peas bring this to the soil and favors the growth of corn. It is also advisable to fertilize when the first shoots occur, but with care because, if it is exceeded, it will attract pests.
Soil fertilized with humus for sowing corn
The soil in which the sowing is carried out must be quite loose, this because, in this way, it can be facilitated when the plant puts down roots and the retention of the humidity. The soil has to be aerated and deep, very rich in humus and other nutrients with high organic matter content and good drainage. It is recommended that it is also a little acidic, the pH should be in a range between 7.0 to 8.5, as it is the range that is considered optimal. Soils in these conditions help control pests, diseases and improve germination.
Clay soils are not recommended, because they tend to have greater moisture retention, this makes the ventilation of the soil is less, and is a factor of utmost importance for the growth of the plant.
Beyond all the nutrients needed to sow corn, requires plenty of sun, so care should be taken to receive sun constantly, as this improves growth.
It is very careful to control the planting with respect to temperatures, because the planting of corn is very sensitive to low temperatures and frost, because this makes the soil cool and the corn will rot. If it happens that the soil is not at an adequate temperature, we recommend increasing it by covering the soil with black plastic and opening some holes to make through these the planting of corn.
For germination to take place the right temperature is between 15C to 20C, which should be for 3 days in a row. If this is not fulfilled, the germination of the seeds will take longer, bringing as consequences that the same rots, decreases the amount of corn in the sowing, and also that an attack of insects and fungi can take place.
The average temperature can be verified by making three daily measurements, the first at 7 o’clock, at 14 o’clock and the last at 18 o’clock.
It is recommended to sow the seeds of sweet or tender corn, these can be obtained in specialized sites, in order to obtain seeds of good quality, because in other cases to acquire corn in bulk does not give good results, since it is possible with them to produce plants, but not fruit.
The most advisable thing if you have already made harvests, is to use the seeds of these. We can analyze the quality of a group of seeds by carrying out different types of tests:
- Firstly, you need a germinator, which should be placed in a place quite illuminated, yes, not with direct light, but indirect.
- At least 10 seeds should be distributed throughout the germinator, taking care that they are not too close to each other.
- The germinator must be moistened daily, bearing in mind that it must be done with the same level of humidity.
- After about 10 days, we proceed to observe how many seeds have germinated. This is going to indicate us that each germinated seed will mean the 10% of success, when adding the percentages that have germinated, it will indicate us the possible rate of success that will be obtained with the seeds that are had.
For the optimal growth of the corn, the sowing must be done in places with a lot of sun, reason for which the sowing must be done in an open and exposed place, it is necessary to choose a free zone of bad grass, this so that when the first buds are given they do not compete with it. And as we indicated before, the soil must be humid and have an excellent drainage, the aeration is fundamental.
The cost of planting maize will depend largely on the costs with respect to water consumption, because if it is summer and it rains very little, you will need to irrigate more frequently to plant maize.
The ideal period for planting maize will be between April and June. It should not be done so soon, because if the soil is cold the seed will rot. That’s why we recommend researching the climatic conditions in your area and choosing a suitable date to avoid bad weather, as this way, the risk of pests and diseases is greater.
The sowing process should be done in group, as it is more suitable than in row, for example, should be accommodated this way because the corn is pollinated with the wind. That is why it is not convenient to plant corn seeds of different species, since cross-pollination can occur, and would result in obtaining very starchy grains.
This sowing must be done directly to the ground, it is planted in blocks, in which a separation of 35 cms is left between each plant. In each hole should be placed between two or three seeds, each hole should have a depth of 2 to 3 cms. If necessary, guides can be placed to help the first shoots grow vertically, which will keep the plants from breaking or bending. In the case of sowing in pots or seedbeds, you should find at least some that contain 50 centimeters deep and are wide. The seeds must be cultivated to 5cms of depth, placing them in square form in the perimeter of the flowerpot, this will give him the greater space that can have, that yes, it is necessary to be careful not to place the seed very near the edges of the flowerpot. And after this the seedbed should be placed in a place where you can give it a constant watering and receive enough sun.
Pollination can be promoted by shaking plants so that pollen from male flowers falls. When the plant reaches 5 cm in height, it must be clarified, which means that only one plant per hole will be left. Obviously the one that looks more vigorous and healthier will be discussed.
To prevent the growth of weeds, a padded plastic can be placed, which will prevent the development of these and protect the soil from pests. The corn takes between 60 and 80 days to be harvested, this will depend on the type of seed that has been sown. We can know that the corn is ready to be harvested when it has stopped growing and the dry tassel turns from yellow to dark brown. Also when we notice that the grains are well tight and of an intense yellow color, we will know that the cob will be ready to be cut, or it is possible to prick a gram to be able to make sure, this one must release a milky liquid.
Sowing with potatoes, celery or beets is not recommended. And because it is such a demanding plant, it should be left between 3 or 4 years to be able to repeat the sowing in the same plot.
The sowing can bring with it plagues and diseases, among these we have:
Birds and some rodents can become an important pest, but they can be kept away by making the famous scarecrows or using protective nets. Plants should be checked every 2 weeks to make sure they are pest-free. You can find pests such as thrips, bed bugs and aphids, to avoid them are recommended to plant rosemary and mint nearby. And apply a combination of potassium soap and neem extract to repel thrips.
Thanks to all the properties they possess, since corn is a rich food in vitamins of the B group, magnesium and phosphorus, and as it is a cereal serves to lower cholesterol levels, thus providing energy. For all this, it is highly recommended to sow this seed and enjoy them very richly when harvesting.