Corns are readily available in the supermarket and are cheap. They may use harmful chemicals to produce sweet corns that can damage your health. Instead, you can grow juicy sweet corns in your home. It is quite simple and easy to grow them under suitable conditions.
Corn or maize is a large grain plant originated from Southern Mexico. It has become a staple food in all parts of the world. We can use fresh kernels in salads, soups, omelets and in stir-fries. Starch from maize can be made into plastics, fabrics and many other chemical products. It is mainly used in the production of corn ethanol and maize products.
Companion planting refers to the planting 2 or more plants for mutual benefits. It is done to enhance the quality and growth of crop plants. Corn plants love to grow with beans, cucumbers, lettuce, melons, peas, potatoes, squash and sunflowers. It doesn’t like to grow with tomato plants as there may be chances of affecting diseases.
These varieties are classified based on the amount of starch, taste, and color of each corn.
|1||Dent corn||Hard and soft starches|
|2||Flint corn||Hard outer shell|
|3||Popcorn||Hard outer shell and soft starchy center|
|4||Sweet corn||Hard outer shell and soft starchy center|
Corn is a good source of vitamin B6, dietary fiber, manganese, phosphorus and antioxidants like beta-carotene, vanillic acid, caffeic acid and pantothenic acid. On serving 100 grams of corn contains 365 calories in it.
How to Grow Corn from Seed?
Having fresh vegetables in your garden not only benefits your health but also brings beauty to the garden. Growing corn in the container is easy but yield gain is not same as that of corn grown in garden space. Here are some factors that are responsible for the growth of corn in containers…
Corn Variety: Choose a dwarf variety corn you would like to grow in containers. You must be familiar with soil and climatic conditions to grow corn. Usually, some corn varieties prefer warm/cool conditions.
Pot & Soil: To grow corn plants pot size should be of 12 inches wide and deep. Prepare a nitrogen-rich soil with well manured. You can also add mulch to retain the soil moisture levels and prevent soil erosion.
Water & Sunlight: Water the plant frequently i.e. twice a day about 1-2 inches depending upon the climate. It is important to get soft, sweet corns and you need to water potted corns more at the time of fruiting. They like to grow in full sun so place the pot or container in sunlight for a minimum of 8 hours a day. The Best temperature to grow corns is 50-55F.
Planting: It takes almost 10-14 days time to germinate seedlings when you start from seeds. Sometimes the germination time may vary depending on the temperature, moisture and soil ph. When you provide proper growing conditions the plant matures and grows to a height of 12-16 feet tall. Dwarf variety grows up to 6 feet tall when placed in containers.
Pollination: Corn is a self-pollinating plant i.e. the plant contains both male and female reproductive structures. Pollination occurs when the pollen grains are transferred from tassel to the silks. Pollen shed fully emerges from the whorl and may last 5-8 days with peak shed. Flowering may typically occur in the morning during rain or excess humidity.
Pests & Diseases
|Pests||Aphids, mites, thrips, maize leafhoppers, corn earworms, white collared ladybird|
|Diseases||Wallaby ear, maize stripe virus, bacterial leaf wilt, fusarium rot, corn leaf blight|
Due to Pests and diseases, there is a reduction in nutritional value, germination ability for seeds in corn plants. To overcome pests problem spray natural insecticides or remove weeds near to it to deter pests and diseases problem.
|S. No||Element||Deficiency Symptom|
|1||Nitrogen||Older leaves turn pale or yellowish-green|
|2||Phosphorus||Purplish coloration of young leaves|
|3||Potassium||Leaf margins become yellow and brown|
|4||Sulfur||Young leaves become yellow|
|5||Zinc||Interveinal chlorosis on upper leaves|
Fertilizers: You can fertilize the plant when it matures. Use organic fertilizers such as compost or manure for the soil to boost quickly. You can also prefer N-P-K fertilizers in the ratio of 10-20-20 around the base of the plant.
Harvesting: Usually corn may take 60-100 days to reach harvest depending on variety and the amount of heat during growing season. Do not harvest the corn until it reaches 12 inches. Now the corn is ready to harvest and eat immediately after picking the best flavor and optimum freshness. They hold the sweet flavor for a week when placed in the refrigerator.
Corn is a popular houseplant that has the potential to grow corn from its canes. But the roots may grow only in right potting mix soil under suitable conditions.
- Prune off the leaf tips to establish a new growth.
- Choose an area that is relatively free from weeds to grow corns.
- You can transplant it to outdoors when it reaches to a height of 4-6 inches.
- Make sure the pot or container has holes at the bottom for proper drainage.
- Avoid overwatering the corn plants as it may result in damaging the plant to root rot.
- Keep children and pets away from corn plants when you use fertilizers for better plant growth.
Weight loss: Corn can be used in many ways as a breakfast item, cereals, Snacks, as a part of salads and soups that promotes weight loss. Just eat them in small quantities and practice portion control will not make you fat.
Diabetes: Corn is good for diabetic patients as it contains phenolic phytochemicals. It regulates the absorption and release of insulin in the body thereby improving overall health.
Skin & Hair: Beta-carotene is essential for the maintenance of good vision and skin. It also benefits mucus membranes, boosts the immune system and can fight against lung cancer. Regular consumption of corn strengthens the hair follicle, smoothens hair and many other benefits.
Heart health: Corn has a great impact on anti-atherogenic effect on cholesterol levels thereby reducing the risk of various cardiovascular diseases. Using corn oil is the best way to improve heart health by lowering bad LDL cholesterol. It also reduces the chances of arteries becoming clogged, blood pressure and heart strokes.
Pregnant women: Corn is rich in fiber and folate that helps to reduce the risk of birth defects, improves memory in your baby, constipation and proper functioning of organs.
Side Effects: Here are some major corn side effects that you should be aware of when consumed in huge amounts.
- Tooth decay
- Allergic reactions
- Indigestion problems
Start growing corn varieties in containers that are sweet, juicy and monitors your health. If you have amazing ideas about growing corn in your home, please share your experience with us.