“The corn is as large as an elephant’s eye, and it seems like it’s climbing right up into the skies,” sang the male lead Curly in Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma.” But Curly didn’t state what would happen to this stalks of sweet corn (Zea mays) when a big wind came up. It is a curious contradiction: corn is wind-pollinated therefore it must be planted where it gets a breeze. However a huge decision can knock over (known as “accommodation”) row after row of corn, leaving the field looking like a battlefield. Modern gardeners turn to common sense, brand new hybrids and aged Native American cultural practices to fight this issue.
Pick a briefer corn cultivar if your live in a windy region. Though some corn grows to more than 8 feet tall, then it is possible to discover standard corn, sugary enhanced corn and super-sweet corn cultivars which are 3 feet shorter. Conventional corn contains the most vigor and is also a better option for preventing end damage.
Plant the corn at a wind-protected area. Corn is usually planted in blocks 3 or 4 feet wide and you can shelter an whole block. Although planting a windbreak is not a project quickly executed, an existing building or hedge can break the prevailing end sufficiently to reduce corn from accommodation. The greater the windbreak, the greater the protected area because it typically extends around 15 times the height of the windbreak.
Irrigate the corn frequently after planting, keeping it evenly moist and never letting it dry out entirely; this aids the plant to develop a strong root system. Eliminate weeds as they seem and mulch with 2-3 inches of compost to keep down competition for water and nutrients.
Rotate your crops. Should you plant corn in the exact same field every year, wire worms move in to attack the roots, carrying with them the corn smut fungus. If the roots decay, the corn topples much more easily.
Hill the corn, mounding dirt about the plant base. Hilling has been a Native American clinic for a number of years the mounting soil provides additional wind protection. Use a hoe to scoop a couple of inches of dirt from between corn rows to form loose mounds. Begin hilling once the stalks are about 3 feet high and repeat the process every two to three weeks prior to the corn tassels. For a more rapid and uniform job, use a special hilling attachment that works with your tiller.