The characteristics of corn
- Type: vegetable plant
- Height: up to 5m
- Flower color: yellow, purple, gray
- Desired exposure: sunny
- Soil type: sandy
- Sanitizing: no
- Diseases: Jaundice, anthracnose, flea beetles, moth, white worm
- Varieties: Zea mays amylacea, Zea mays ceratina, Zea mays Everta, Zea mays indentata, Zea mays indurata
Belonging to the poaceae family, the corn is a plant annual cultivated on the one hand for its grains rich in starch, and on the other hand as a fodder plant. Native to Mexico where it was the basic dish of the Amerindian populations before the XVIth century, the corn plant is present today in nearly 150 countries and rises to the rank of first cereal cultivated in the world before rice and wheat.
The corn (Zea mays) is part of the Poaceae family.
While most grains favor planting in the fall or spring, corn (Zea mays) is grown in summer. It requires minimum temperatures of 10 ° C for its germination and 18 ° C for its flowering.
Capable of adapting to different types of soil, corn cannot resist a lack of water. Its water requirements will result in its yield.
Maize requires deep, light, fresh soil rich in humus. When preparing it, bring manure or compost the fall before sowing. This will enrich the soil.
There are several ways to sow your corn:
- in pocket
For an online corn plantation, you have to dig grooves 3cm deep. Sow clear, in rows spaced 70cm apart. Then cover the seeds with fine earth, and after emergence, thin to 20-25cm. Watch out for birds, which can steal corn seeds even when they have germinated.
If you decide to opt for a seedling in a pocket, sow 2 grains per scoop every 25cm. Then cover with fine earth and keep only the most beautiful plant after emergence.
It is also possible to plant corn indoors. Sow 3 or 4 seeds per scoop, mixed with potting soil with a little compost. It will then suffice to plant the most developed plant thereafter.
It is recommended that only one variety of corn be planted at a time. If you want to plant 2 varieties, opt for varieties with an offset flowering. If your garden is less than 300m from a cornfield, it will need to be protected during flowering.
Growing corn in the vegetable patch
For a culture in the garden of individuals, it is advisable to sow 3 corn seeds every 40 cm along lines spaced 70 cm apart.
Planting is carried out around May for a harvest towards the end of summer when the ears are well formed.
You will then be able to transform your corn kernels into popcorn for a little cinema session at home, far from the controversies surrounding transgenic corn.
When to harvest corn?
Sweet corn harvest between 80 to 120 days after sowing. The harvest is generally spread from the end of July to the month of October. The harvest depends on several criteria: the earliness of the variety, watering, heat ...
To find out if the corn is ripe, take a few grains from an ear. If they are slightly milky when you mash them, then it is ready to be harvested.
Diseases, pests and parasites
The moth caterpillar sometimes digs its galleries in corn stalks. This then causes a break. To prevent attack, grind crop waste before using it as compost or mulch. In the event of a severe attack, spray a solution ofBacillus thuringiensis on the plants.
Also make a good crop rotation by not growing only corn on the same plot for 4 years.
A great majority corn is used worldwide for animal feed. But this herbaceous plant which has two to three ears on each foot is also used for human consumption, whether in the form of grains or in flour.
A small part of world production is also used for the production of biofuels. There is even corn in the "leisure and tourism" category: certain fields are indeed transformed into a labyrinth for the greatest happiness of children.
Recipes with corn
Here is a recipe that will allow you to taste thecorncob as in North America where it is a custom. You choose your fresh ear with well-rounded grains and scald it for ten minutes. Then, it is drained and brushed with salted butter. Then, we grill it for half an hour in the oven, turning it regularly and sprinkling it with butter. It only remains to season it to taste it.