gardeningwithe
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Planting corn in a circle?

My 9 yr. old has designed a circle garden plan for us to use this year. He wants to do a three sisters planting type in the middle, but wants the corn to be more in a circle/spiral. Will this work? And how much corn do you think we would need to have to ensure pollination? Just fyi he will also have a path around the corn and then potatoes and bush beans in a circle around that then another path and then carrots, herbs etc.... Any tips/suggestions to make it successful. He is so very excited and I want it to work out or at the very least not do poorly b/c we did something totally wrong.

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jal_ut
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Re: Planting corn in a circle?

I like to see corn rows 32 inches apart and plants about every 8 inches to a foot in the rows. I always suggest a three row planting for good pollination. Now, I don't know how this may relate to a circle, but perhaps you can visualize, from what I said, about how close the corn should be in a planting? Bear in mind that if it is too close and crowded, it will not bear ears in the center of the planting. If not enough plants, or too far apart it may not get pollinated right. Corn is a large plant and needs elbow room so its large leaves can see the sunshine, yet it needs close neighbors for the pollination issue. It is kind of a balancing act.

How about 4 seeds fairly close together in the center, then go back 30 inches and go around in a circle with a seed every 8 inches? That would give a 5 foot circle widened to about 7 or 8 by the time the leaves protrude?
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rainbowgardener
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Re: Planting corn in a circle?

check out this thread about making a "house" of corn: https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... php?t=8140

and of course last year applestar had a spiral tomato garden (it was her corn house too, she is such a creative gardener!): https://www.helpfulgardener.com/forum/vi ... 80&t=52230

What you are talking about takes a bit more thought and planning, but I think it can be done.
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imafan26
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Re: Planting corn in a circle?

It sounds like an interesting project. My garden is an oval and I have planted corn there. If I can plant at least the semicircle with 47 plant, I get 67ears. It just works out that way. Most of the plants will produce two ears and some three. The plants on the outside usually only have one ear. My inside plants will usually get two. The third ear almost never has enough pollen left to fill it. I sometimes bagged my tassels to hand pollinate. I get fuller ears that way. Jal- ut is right about the spacing. Corn pollen is relatively heavy most of it falls straight down but in a strong wind it can get up to something like 600 ft away.
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gardeningwithe
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Re: Planting corn in a circle?

Thank you everyone for the responses!!

Jal_ut- that makes a lot of sense and sounds like something we could do. I probably won't be able to do hand pollination as I work away from home during the week for the majority of the summer and only have the weekends to tend to it (though I try to make sure it can get watered when it is super hot out).

Rainbow Gardner- You are always so good about remembering what has been posted- I check it out at work during my lunch but new blocker won't let me look at the pics so I will definitely have to check it out at home. It looked helpful though- but I can't wait to see the pics. I am sort of a visual person. :)

imafan26- oval... I bet your garden looks really neat! Hopefully our project will work out well. My son is very into gardening and I want his garden plan to be successful. I mean he sat down and worked out companion plantings and everything.

Thanks again everyone- at least now I am more confident it can work, which goes a long way :)

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applestar
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Re: Planting corn in a circle?

God luck! Projects like this is a lot of fun from start -planning and design- to finish. :D

And do remind your son that it is also a learning experience for the NEXT ONE. Analysis of whatever worked or didn't work can be applied to the next year's project... And the next. :wink:
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gardeningwithe
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Re: Planting corn in a circle?

This is true applestar- every year is a learning experience. I just want it to do ok since he is excited. Of course, I am just happy he is so interested in it, and hope to keep the interest alive.

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jal_ut
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Re: Planting corn in a circle?

I probably won't be able to do hand pollination as I work away from home during the week for the majority of the summer
The planting I suggested should pollinate itself just fine. I don't think you will need to hand pollinate with a planting this big.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

gardeningwithe
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Re: Planting corn in a circle?

Jal_ut... that is great news!!! I really appreciate the help.

gardeningwithe
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Re: Planting corn in a circle?

I thought I'd give a quick update- so far the corn seems happy. Not quite harvest time, but it is growing just fine! Thanks for all of the help!

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applestar
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Re: Planting corn in a circle?

I'm really looking forward to your harvest so we can compare results and review. 8)
Learning never ends because we can share what we've learned. And in sharing our collective experiences, we gain deeper understanding of what we learned.

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