Put on gloves to prevent blisters on your hands.
Weeds can be a major problem in a corn patch. They compete with corn seedlings for nutrients, water and light. Hand pulling weeds or cultivating with a hoe kills the weeds and increases the corn crop without introducing chemicals to your food. Work in the morning on a sunny day when the soil is dry. The afternoon sun will kill uprooted weeds quickly. The right hoe and good technique keeps a corn patch free of weeds without breaking your back.
Scrape away weeds, upending the plant and exposing the roots. Plants that have been uprooted will die. You can leave them between rows to eventually disintegrate and replenish the soil, or rake them up when you have finished hoeing. Hand pull any weeds that grow too close to the corn plants.
That’s it for prepping – really! Now you’re ready to plant.
There aren’t many things worse for a gardener than trying to find sprouting corn in a sea of weeds – and then trying to free the poor things from them, right?
Set Up The Watering System
After trying a lot of different varieties, I’ve settled on this combo as the best:
I always plant two of these beds with three different varieties that all mature 2 weeks apart so that we don’t have a glut of corn all at once. This gives us about a month of harvest so I can easily prep and freeze smaller amounts and not kill myself processing corn. If you have a smaller planting area, I’d just plant two of these, the earliest and the latest.
Prepping the Beds
After the harvest, do you pull up the dead plants? If so, does this deplete quite a bit of soil in the beds?
Use 2 to 3 pounds of fertilizer, such as 10-10-10, for every 100 square feet of garden area. Spread the fertilizer evenly over the soil and work it into the soil 3 to 4 inches deep. Rake the soil to smooth the surface.
Figure 3. When corn is about 2 feet tall, scatter 1 cup of fertilizer for every 10 feet of row and water it in.
Care during the season
Corn is one of the plants grown in the traditional Native American vegetable technique call the Three Sisters. The other two plants in the Three Sisters are beans and squash, and each had its role in this companion planting tradition. Corn served as a support for the vining beans. Squash served as a ground cover, preventing weeds from growing. Beans provided natural fertilizer for all.