I’ve been growing sweet corn for 35 years
and it’s one of the favorite things that we grow in the garden. I’ve tried all different varieties — the
Bodacious, the Ambrosia, Silver King, a lot of the super sweets. And I keep going back to Silver Queen. It just happens to be my favorite sweet corn. It’s a great-tasting corn and it’s easy to
silk, so that’s the one we grow every year. Three important factors growing sweet corn
are pollination, water and fertilization. Pollination — corn is pollinated by the wind,
not by the bees. So some people want to plant one or two long
rows. Well that’s the wrong thing to do. You always want to plant your corn in blocks,
sort of like squares. That way when it starts tassling out and the
wind blows, the wind can pollinate your corn. And you get a lot better results than if you
try to plant one or two long rows. Keeping adequate moisture to your corn when
it gets up to this stage can be problematic. The way we used to have to do it is we took
our sprinkler and we would lay it on a barrel or whatever to try to get it up over the corn. We had to use a lot of water because these
leaves caught it and to get the water to the root system, it took a lot of water. But we started using our drip tape. So now when I get ready to water, all I have
to do is come out and turn the valve on. It puts the water right there at the root
system. We use a lot less water than what we used
to use and our corn never stresses. If that leaf ever twists up, then you’re stressing
that plant and you don’t want to do that. Corn is a heavy feeder and it likes plenty
of fertilizer. You want those leaves nice and green. The way we do it is at pre-plant, before we
plant our corn, we put plenty of compost and good chicken litter down. And then once our corn gets up to about knee
high, we start fertilizing it with our fertilizer injector through our drip system. Now we inject 20-20-20 which is a conventional
water soluble fertilizer through our fertilizer injector. And Chilean Nitrate — Chilean Nitrate is
a 16% soluble nitrogen. So if you’re growing organically, that’s a
great source for nitrogen for your corn. You can inject it right into your drip system. The old timers used to say that on a still
afternoon in the summertime, if you was really quiet, you could stand and you could actually
hear the corn growing. I think they may have been right.