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rootsy
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Ozark Lady wrote:Okay, opinion poll: Sort of, not really.

I have raised beds: 4'x8' and I am opening up some new soil... not rich with humus, no mulch or compost, but this could easily be hills.

I do not own a tiller, nor a tractor, so tilling and plowing is not an option.

I could easily go lasagna here, lots of weeds, manure, etc. Or I could dig hills and simply side dress it with manure.

Hubby wants to buy a tiller, I say no... I remember the advice to throw away the tiller... since we don't own one... we don't need to toss it.

I am also considering letting the ducks and geese weed the corn.. good or bad idea?
Let that corn get to about V6 before you let the winged warriors in there... Or they'll eat the corn also...

As I said before... Do some research on hill dropping and check rowing for planting corn. More or less the planter (mechanical or by hand) would drop 3 or 4 seeds on a hill at given intervals.. usually 42 inches X by Y

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applestar
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Ozark Lady, is this a small space corn question (I see a bit of reference to corn at the end) if not, I'll split it off into a new topic, so pick a subject line. :wink:

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Ozark Lady
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I was addressing the issue of growing corn in a small space in a raised bed of 4'x8' versus... the great open area... raw land.
Which would get me better results?
It was simply requesting opinions. Corn is a large crop, heavy feeder, with really small returns for all you put into it. So, I am just sort of seeing what others think... Is it worth trying in a raised bed or better out in the open.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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jal_ut
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Corn is a large crop, heavy feeder, with really small returns for all you put into it.
I do not agree. If this were so do you think we would see many thousands of acres of corn growing in this country? Quite the opposite of your observation is true. Corn returns a bountiful harvest for what you put into it.

Corn is the most widely grown crop in the Americas (332 million metric tons annually in the United States alone).

Corn is easy to grow if a few simple rules are followed. It has been said several times in this thread. Plant in rows 30 to 36 inches apart and plants 8 to 12 inches in the rows. Fertilize, weed, water and harvest. In this way you get two nice large ears from each plant.

Once you have the ears harvested, you have loads of oranic matter to go back into your soil.

What is the mystery?
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

cynthia_h
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jal_ut wrote: Corn returns a bountiful harvest for what you put into it.

...

Once you have the ears harvested, you have loads of oranic matter to go back into your soil.
Excellent point, jal_ut: once the food is harvested from the corn plant, there is lots of biomass available for whatever use the gardener wishes. Compost, rotting/mulching in place, what have you.

Cynthia H.
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rootsy
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I generally run my mower over stalks (I am not talking about your lawn mower). Then the remnants as well as root ball get plowed under in the fall or disked in and left over winter to decompose. Only because I grow the same crop on the same ground year after year and need to get rid of the trash and disease.

Most field corn is either chopped for silage, leaving only a root ball or it is run through the combine with more or less accomplishes the same feat as the mower and puts the debris back on the ground. Depending upon soil type and location most corn remnants is either chisel plowed or no-tilled... Very few farmers still plow and disk.

For a gardener those stalks need to be cut up or you'll be left with difficult to handle mass... Even after wintering they will entangle in a roto-tiller or be difficult to break down by hand to incorporate. A small wood chipper makes quick work of them and creates a nice biomass heap for the compost pile...

Nothing like the sweet smell of fermenting silage too...

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applestar
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In my small, no-till garden, I cut the stalks at ground level with loppers (I have two, one for ground level/root work, the other good one for pruning) and lay them on the ground and bury them with compost and mulch (like hugelkultur). With the stumps/roots, I pile compost and mulch on top and plant around them.

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Ozark Lady
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I recall seeing corn fields, when my husband was stationed in Illinois.
I have seen some gardens with corn in them, not many.
Perhaps it is where I live, just not a good growing area for corn.
When I do see corn, 4' is the norm and only one garden do I know, off hand, that grows larger corn.

But, only two fruits for your efforts. What if a tomato, pepper, squash, potato, berry, or okra only gave you two fruits? See my point?
Compared with vegetables that give more it seems unproductive.
But compared with a turnip or radish... ha ha But they take less space, less time, and less soil amendments.

I do intend to give corn another try in 2010.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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rootsy
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My backyard...

[img]https://i108.photobucket.com/albums/n27/jaroot13/Farming%20Photos/sweetcorn1.jpg[/img]

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Ozark Lady
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Beautiful photo.

Is that now? What is that growing? Is that your crop?

I know... nosey, aren't I? :lol:

My back yard... hmm... is forest. Lots of trees, some with old brown leaves, most bare.. no photos of that!
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!

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rootsy
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Last May... that is 340 acres of corn (you only see 100 acres or so in that photo width)...

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applestar
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:idea:) The trees in the background must be NORTH! :lol:
Why do I get the urge to just run, Run, RUN! between those rows of corn? Must be the vista that I can't see out my back yard.

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tomf
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Is that your farm Rootsy? Nice, this is where you use the cool old tractors?

Corn grows tall so put it where it will not block out the sun on your other plants.

TZ -OH6
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Corn was at the bottom of the priority list this year so I put it in a tight space that is shaded by trees until about noon. I planted it very close together, about 8" between plants and a foot between rows. Three rows about 8-10 ft long. I didn't hope for much but it has done well with big plants and full sized ears. I think the trick was a side dressing of nitrogen before the tassels showed up, which gave the plants some extra height when some rain finally showed up. I am surprized at the success because of the shade from the trees and the dense planting.

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jal_ut
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I love success stories.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

garden5
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I know of a friend who planted corn in his garden, but left them grow 3 to a spot. Know he's wondering why the ears are small :roll:. Some crops you just can't crowd.
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