Newly Registered
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Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2008 8:00 pm
Location: Woodhull, NY

Corn stalks as supports for other plants?

Has anybody planted corn around their veggie plants to use the strong stalks as supports like cages?
I am trying it this year...will post pictures to show you how it looks and if it turns out to work for me.
Currently planted corn around the cukes, tomatoes and peppers....Corn isnt coming up fast enough for them yet so maybe I will need to lant the corn alot earlier than the other veggie plants.

joe t
woodhull, ny

Senior Member
Posts: 150
Joined: Thu May 22, 2008 3:10 pm
Location: Baltimore, MD

My only worry is that it would shade your plants to much depending on how dense the corn is. I also don't know what the roots are like on corn but I know tomatoes have deep extensive root systems and I would wonder if it would get crowded under ground or not.

Good idea though for an organic approach to staking plants.

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Green Thumb
Posts: 435
Joined: Tue May 20, 2008 1:58 pm
Location: Litchfield, Michigan

For many years it was common practice to plant peas with your corn. The corn stalk would support the pea vines.

Charlie MV
Greener Thumb
Posts: 1544
Joined: Thu May 08, 2008 11:48 pm

We've lost partial corn crops to wind in the past. They just blew over. It hasn't happened lately because the world has grown up around us a bit.

Super Green Thumb
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Joined: Tue May 06, 2008 7:02 pm
Location: El Cerrito, CA

I mentioned a plan similar to this to DH the other day.

We planted a small circle (approx. 7 to 8 ft diameter) of sunflowers out near the street this year. They've grown to approx. 6' tall and six or seven of them have bloomed; three or so haven't yet but will soon.

I told DH that my plan was to cut off the sunflower heads (seeds) after the pollen run--LOTS of bees are visiting! :D--and leave the stalks to support other plants next year. (I also put DE near the bases of the stalks b/c ants :evil: as well as the bees :) were starting to take notice of the flowers.)

We have some ne'er-do-well hollyhocks inside the sunflower circle. Maybe they'll grow next year. I found out AFTER planting Alcea rosea seeds in April that the plant is slow to start: it would have been better to wait until October to plant. *sigh*

So I'll find out how well sunflower stalks do as hollyhock supports. The last time I grew hollyhocks, they were planted against a dark-colored, south-facing wall of our former house. They grew to 15 feet.

I doubt that these will get that high; they're subject to passers-by and afternoon winds. No nice, warmth-reflecting surface nearby, either.

But 6-foot-tall sunflower stalks ought to give 'em a leg up, huh?

Cynthia H.
USDA Zone 9, Sunset Zone 17

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