Does this seem to happen to anyone else besides me?? I think next year I may pour concrete around my corn so it won`t blow over!! Aaaargh!
I plant my corn in a 4-5" deep furrow and cover the seed with an inch of soil. Then hope for no floods. When about 10" tall, I fertilize with urea (46-0-0). (My soil has many times the desired amount of K and P, so I never add any, except what it gets from my lawn clippings I use as mulch.)
Then I "hill it up" like a potato crop, to bring it up to mean ground level. Then, several weeks later, I "hill it up" again, to put a 2-3" high ridge along the rows. Since I started doing this, I never have any blow over, even when I get my annual 70 mph wind ripping through my garden, unless it rains an inch or two before the wind hits.
If that happens, there is plenty of mud for me to pack up against the stalks after I stand them back up.
I kill 2 birds with one stone ( a favorite thing to do) when I hoe the tiny weeds between the rows, I hill the soil around the stalks at the same time. I do this 2 or 3 times as the stalks grow.
It`s funny the things you have to do when you are a "hobbiest" to grow corn. I never see the big fields of corn laying on the ground after a storm. I guess maybe all of those rows that the big boys grow, affords some sort of wind protection barrier for the plants. I doubt it would be feasible to stand 50 acres of corn back up after it got flattened by the wind & rain! LOL! I wouldn`t want to do it I can tell you that! ;)
tdscpa: I may just try that little technique of yours next year. I have tried in the past to just plant the seeds deeper but it really didn`t seem to help much. I have spoken with others who have done the same thing. They said theirs still blew over too. I think I tried planting those suckers about 6" in the ground one year. Took `em a LONG time to come out of the ground & some didn`t. I understand that the corn makes most of its roots near the surface ( about 1" to 2"down ) so what you are saying about the way that you do that would work. It would get the roots established & growing & then you pile more dirt on them, effectively re-enforcing the roots. Very good idea indeed!
nchomemaker: I may try that this year since the plants are already about 3 ft high or so. I doubt I have but maybe 4 weeks left before I will be picking corn. Big aggravation to have to go to these lengths to keep my stalks up but I don`t think corn was meant to grow like watermelon vines do on the ground! LOL!
Thanks everyone for the suggestions! Will save me from having to buy a few bags of concrete!! :-)
I gave up on corn. It was just too much work. I planted it in deep furrows, and hilled it up as it grew. But it still would fall over in the storms. Then my dear hubby would go out there in 90 degree heat and 99 percent humidity and mosquitoes and try to prop it up with string and tall stakes.
Forget it. Its just not worth it.
Well, for awhile when I was younger it was worth it, but not any more. Homegrown corn just can't be beat. But dangit, between the storms and the coons........forget it.
It is funny that you should mention coons. A guy at work was telling me one day that his corn patch had been invaded by a coon or 2. He said ( with extreme agitation I might add ) that he had gone out to his patch one morning & ALL of his corn was on the ground! A furry critter or more had come in that night, started munching, just a munch or 2 & then off to the next plant to do the same thing!! They got his WHOLE corn crop!! Boy was he PO`ed! I really like corn & love to see how tall it gets but sometimes I wonder why I even try when I see it laying on the ground for the nth time after a windy rain storm! LOL!
I have my corn in smallish plots (square foot style) and am thinking a tall fence might help? What do you folks think?
We had quite a few heavy rains here and we've had corn almost flat on the ground but it came back up by itself. Maybe you could just let it come back.
I found a fix for this if you have a smallish bed of corn.
I have a 4 X 8 bed with corn planted two to a sqft (in a diagonal type pattern). So that's approximately 60 corn stalks.
In each corner of the bed I sunk a T post when the corn was small, and put nylon trellis netting between the 4 posts (the kind with 6 or 7 inch holes) at about Thigh height (3 feet ish?).
Then i just let the corn grow up through the netting.
I have yet to have 1 stalk blow over, and the corn is now ~8 feet tall.
This wouldn't be practical in a big field of course, but for the home grower, who grows a small amount of stalks, it's an easy and fairly cheap fix.
A recent storm blew down my corn, which was 5 feet or more tall. I had read that corn which was blown down (lodged) would right itself. Looking at my corn, it was hard to believe that was possible. After a couple of days, howeve, it was looking much better and a couple of days after that the stalks were all nicely vertical. It was quite amazing to see.
I had not yet hilled this corn and the soil here is light and sandy, so doesn't offer much support anyway. I have now hilled it but I'm not exactly sure of the reason because, in my situation anway, the hilling doesn't offer significant support. I'm guessing it helps the growth of those roots which emerge from the stalks just above the surface of the soil.
That used to happen to me from winds/heavy rain(and the coons). Mounding soil does not work. I support my rows with wire and haven't had a problem since. Drive a stake( I use 5' rebar) in the ground on each end of each row and run a wire down each side of the row(s). Incedently, in my garden, the way my corn rows are laid out, I only need to put one stake in per row as the corn rows "T" into the my garden fencing. I start the wires out low - maybe 1 1/2 " high when the corn is young and adjust/raise the wire accordingly. My corn is mature now and the wire is about 4' high - the corn is 9' tall. I have 24 10' rows of sweet corn and don't have much more than 1 hour invested in this wiring technique. We've had heavy rains and no problems. Well worth it. Btw, you can still do this if your corn was knocked down - you might need a helper though. For the raccoon problem, I bought a solar powered electric fence. No more coons...My corn is now all mine and I used the extra fence wire to support the corn - it came in a 1/4 mile roll of aluminum, which should last a life time & be reusable as it doesn't rust.
Jurassicdaryl, I'm trying that next year or I won't plant corn. This morning I went out and rigged a little fence around the plot, and I used cotton twine to tie back some of the stalks in the middle.
Tonight it has happened to me again!! I have had to doctor my corn plants when they were small, but now they a month from harvest and tonights storm blew them like they had the same strength as when it happened the first time. Ive ben advised that tomorrow they will come up again, but im doubting that very much...Arrg im thinking i gotta go buy the stakes and wire tomorrow. Fun fun fun.