How to Grow and Harvest Indian Corn
One true sign of autumn and all that comes with the changing season is the sight of Indian corn. Indian corn has been a staple of table decorations everywhere for generations. The colorful and historical centerpiece of choice for many is easy to grow in your own yard or garden space. With some basic care, the Indian corn you grow will be something to be proud of.
Step 1: Prepare a Plot
The right season for planting Indian corn is early in the spring time when the temperature is sure to stay at 60 degrees or more. Once you are ready to plant your Indian corn you will need a plot of land for it to grow into healthy stalks. Ideally, you will need a space large enough to hold four rows, each 4 feet long and 25 inches apart. You can accomplish this in a raised garden bed as well. Keep in mind that Indian corn does best in full sun.
You do want to keep the Indian corn separate from any sweet corn you are attempting to grow to avoid cross pollination.
Step 2: Gather Materials
The first thing you will need to do when attempting to grow your own Indian corn is to purchase your seeds. You can do it online or from various seed catalogs. You can also use Indian corn that you may have already purchased from the local farmer’s market or garden store. Simply choose the largest kernels from the cob and place them in a sealed plastic bag; store them in a cool and dry indoor location until you are ready to use them.
Gather all other necessary gardening equipment that you enjoy using or are accustomed to using.
Step 3: Prepare Soil and Plant Seeds
When the time is right, plant the Indian corn in rich soil that good drainage conditions. Plant the seeds at a depth of approximately ¾ inch and 4 to 5 inches apart. Your rows should be approximately four feet long and 24 to 26 inches apart. The point is to plant densely to allow for pollination to occur naturally with the wind. If you want to keep solid colors, be sure to plant the colors away from each other. Otherwise, expect to see some beautiful and unique speckling of the corn.
Step 4: Maintain the Indian Corn
It will take about 3 months or more for the Indian corn to reach its full maturity. In the mean time, you will need to thin the seedlings and keep the soil rich by applying clippings or mulch around the plants. The Indian corn also requires frequent watering.
Step 5: Harvest the Indian Corn
To properly harvest the corn, wait until the husks have no more green. Shuck the corn and air dry.
You will be able to enjoy your home grown Indian corn for the rest of the fall and winter seasons. You can even store it away and use for next year.