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secret to planting sweet corn?

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by Bisi, May 4, 2012.

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  1. Bisi

    Bisi TS Member

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    Anybody know the secret to planting sweet corn? I'm going to replant my sweet corn tomorrow. It seems the last few years I've been having trouble getting it to break through the ground. It has been dry in my area this year, so I thought I might soak the seed overnight, then plant it sometime tomorrow. Anybody see anything wrong with soaking it?

    If I can get it to grow then I hit it with some ammonia nitrate when it gets 3 or 4 inches high.

    I used to think I was a pretty good gardener but the last couple of years, I'm starting to question. Just like trapshooting I guess. Used to be half way decent at that a few years ago too, but anymore????

    I still can grow top notch tomatoes though (knock on wood).
     
  2. Ahab

    Ahab Well-Known Member

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    Keeping the soil watered is more important than soaking the seeds!
     
  3. Bisi

    Bisi TS Member

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    I agree Ahab, but rain has been hard to come by of late around here. It is thundering out there now, but no rain so far.
     
  4. Twinbirds

    Twinbirds TS Member

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    water it makes better sweet corn
     
  5. THEKIDFAN

    THEKIDFAN Member

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    Seeds always germ better when planted TO moisture, meaning soak the ground then let it dry up a few days then plant to the moisture that is left there! best of luck to ya!
     
  6. Shooting Sailor

    Shooting Sailor Well-Known Member

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    As thekidfan said; plant TO moisture. Soak the ground and put the seed in about one inch down, cover lightly with fine soil, and water lightly each day or two. Don't let the ground dry to a hard crust, or the germinated seed won't poke through. A light crust of about 1/8 to 1/4" is okay. Don't over water, as that can rot the seed. If you water with a wand on a hose you can control how much water is going on the ground, and not watering the spaces between the rows keeps the weeds from growing, making for less work weeding.

    You don't say if you rotate your crops or not, but planting the same crop in the same place year after year depletes the soil of what is needed to grow that crop. This can explain why you are having problems growing corn for the last few years. A natural fertiliser (manure) addition every year is a good preventative measure. I add at least 2 yards of manure a year to my garden, and sometimes up to 8 yards. I move the vegetables from place to place every year, and try to keep the heavy feeders like corn, zucchinis, and melons from growing too close to the area they were in the year before. The only things that stay in the same spot are the strawberries in a 3 tier box, Marion and Raspberries, asparagus in a box, and the herb garden.
     
  7. Bisi

    Bisi TS Member

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    Yeah I rotate. What is frustrating is the field 150yards down the street that the farmer plants in field corn. That stuff comes up within 3 or 4 days and there are no "skips" or missed spots. It comes up growing and kickin butt.

    It's 2am and I'm awake because of a thunder storm, I'm getting plenty of moisture now. It will be too muddy to plant tomorrow.

    Thanks for the input guys.
     
  8. Robb

    Robb Member

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    Sweet corn needs higher ground temp than field corn.At least 55 degrees and some require 65.
     
  9. pj 999

    pj 999 TS Member

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    Watch your planting depth. Don't plant over 1" deep, in my opinion 1/2 " is good. You can do a quick experiment on this for future years if you like. Also are you planting treated seed? Good luck!!
     
  10. oskerspap12

    oskerspap12 Active Member

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    There is an saying that an old farmer told me,and it goes like this...........(only for field corn)

    "You lose a bushel a day past the 1st of May".

    I know this has nothing to do with this thread,but I thought y'all might like to know this.(I guess this really applies to the mid-atlantic area).

    D.P.Reynolds
     
  11. porky

    porky TS Member

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    First, the ground has to be warm enough. Open the furrows a day early and let the sun heat up the bottom of the furrow if need be. The seed generally has a poison (anti fungal to prevent the corn from rotting in the ground, Captan)on it so soaking it would remove that. In your open furrows, water the furrows generously, then plant the seeds. then covering the seed with soil will then help hold the moisture. Tamp the soil to remove any air pockets, I use a steel garden rake. If you want to add fertilizer, either put it in the bottom of the furrow and cover with soil, the add seeds or add as a side dressing, not touching the seeds in any way. Just throwing fertizer on the top of the ground allows the nitrogen portion to evaporate. Corn is a heavy nitrogen feeder so you will need some granular 15-15-15 or better fertilizer. Most of the fertilizers that you mix with water are at least that and you can water the corn and fertilize them at the same time when they are up a couple of inches.
     
  12. hfrogdogc

    hfrogdogc Member

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    You should plant the seed first so when it rains or you water the dirt will cover the seed better
     
  13. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    There's some good tips here, but the one that the nitrogen will evaporate in the air is a common misbelief, the nitrogen that you spread whether ammonium nitrate or sulfate is drawn into the ground by ionic attraction, the cation's in the fertilizer are attracted to the anions in the soil

    If the nitrogen did evaporate into the air, why doesn't it evaporate when it is stored before it is spread?
     
  14. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    But you can damage the plants by spreading granular fertilizer it on them after they have emerged, it's the salt carrier in the fertilizer that causes the harm, it's best to use a foliar fertilizer and spray it on after emergence
     
  15. wackdux

    wackdux TS Member

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    What does this have to do with Trap shooting..............Go to Martha Stewart webpage :)
     
  16. omgb

    omgb Well-Known Member

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    Ah, it's in the "off topic" category so it can be about anything. I for one am interested. If you're not, don't read it. Kinda simple solution to the issue.
     
  17. porky

    porky TS Member

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    Fertilizer is shipped in bags with plastic liners. As long as the slow acting, pellet fertilizer is dry, the clay coating will prevent the nitrogen from evaporating. When it becomes wet, as in contact with soil, it releases the nitrogen because the moisture breaks down the clay that surrounds the nitrogen. Fertilizer, just strewn on the surface would evaporate more slowly than, say, chemicals in the swimming pools do. That is why it is best to get the pelleted fertizer(slow acting) underground where it can do its work.
     
  18. Catpower

    Catpower Molon Labe TS Supporters

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    Git er done, the fertilizer you buy in the home improvement store is shipped in plastic bags, when they lined the paper ones, it was to prevent leakage

    But when they ship it to fertilizer distributors, it is shipped in trucks or rail cars, then unloaded into open bins where they move it with skid steer loaders to the mixers, if it evaporated, when they got back to the bins the next day the pile would be smaller, but they aren't

    If you don't believe me, open a bag of 34-0-0, and let be exposed to the air, it doesn't shrink, or you are getting some defective product

    The fertilizer is drawn into the ground by ionic attraction, trust me, but you can believe what you want, a lot of people do think what you are saying but it isn't true
     
  19. Robb

    Robb Member

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    I think it's better to fertilize in the fall and the ground will be ready.

    Use the N in the spring but P and K in the fall. It will still be there.
     
  20. porky

    porky TS Member

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    I don't wish to be drawn into a situation. I grew up on a farm. We used lots of fertilizer. I still use fertilizer and the last place I would go is to a home improvement store or whatever. I buy at a farm feed facility. I know what I am talking about. Once fertilizer gets wet, it loses nitrogen. Maybe there is some ionic action, as you call it, but the deterioration due to exposure to sun, rain and wind is greater that its ability to be drawn into the ground. This is why farmers plant seeds and have the fertilizer go into the ground the same time that the seeds are planted. If you are using 34-0-0 then you are planting onions,garlic or some other plant that feeds heavy on the nitrogen. Farmers use 20-20-20 for corn. Other plantings use a lot less of the NPK ratio. The pellet doesn't lose size, it becomes porous. Believe me that a lot more people understand this simple principle of clay pellets becoming porous and leeching nitrogen than your ionic effect. As long as the pelletized nitrogen is dry, no nitrogen will escape. That is why feed stores can sell last years fertilizer to farmers and it is still viable. After all it is made from a fossil fuel and that is why prices rise with the rising of Nat Gas and Propane. Last year I grew 3000 pounds of tomatoes, 2200 pounds of squash, 1000 plus cabbages, plus asparagus, string beans, swiss chard, beets, broccoli, etc. These produces are donated to the NE Food Pantry and local Salvation Army and City Mission soup kitchens. I am a master gardener and work with experts in these fields all the time. I don't want to brag. I just want you to know that I have a over 60 years experience in the farming industry and know a few things about the products I use. Don't let your pelleted fertiziler get wet or it will be no good to anyone, especially lying on the ground. Rain washes nitrogen away as well a phorporus and potash.
     
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