Otherwise known as maize, corn evolved from a domesticated grass grown since prehistoric times. The name maize is reflected in the botanical name, zea mays. It is among the most widely grown crops in the U.S. with numerous varieties specialized for various uses ranging from eating to making flour to popping. Additionally, corn is an important sugar crop and has recently gained a special notoriety as a source of ethanol. This variety, has unique blue kernels and is primarily grown as an ornamental. The kernels are also good for popping as popcorn.
Growing Informaton: Sow seeds once the soil has reached a temperature of 65 degrees. Temperatures up to 85 degrees are still within the ideal range, but it is recommended to start as early as possible. Soil temperature is an important factor for a successful crop because seeds planted in cooler soil tend to rot. Sow seeds an inch deep with a spacing of 12?. Typically, growers will plant several seeds per foot, and weed out the weakest plants so that only the most vigorous remain. A loose soil with a neutral ph is essential. Rows should be spaced about three feet apart. It is recommended that a minimum of four rows be planted at once to ensure thorough pollination. Plants should be given full sun and regular watering. Fertilize plants with nitrogen once they have reached about 8 inches and then again once they have started producing tassels. Keep the area free of weeds and take measures to prevent raccoons and squirrels from devouring your crop. Harvest once the kernels begin to harden and the husks dry out. Once picked, the ears should be hung out to dry in a well-ventilated space.
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