drying corn stalks

cateyanne(zone 5/6 Northern Ohio)August 9, 2008

I have grown stalks of Indian corn this year, which I plan on using for fall decoration. I did the same last year and let them dry in their spot in the garden, only to have them destroyed at the last moment by squirrels trying to get at the ears.

this year I have planted some veggies for late fall harvest and they are being shaded by the large stalks. the stalks are still green, but have the ears on them now. I was wondering if stalks will dry naturally if I pulled them out now and stored them in my garage until I'm ready to place them in the fall decor? It would also protect them from the squirrels. Or do they need to stay in the ground and "dry" there for some reason?

Does anyone know?

Thanks

Cathy

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guilttrip

Cathy , thanks for the post . I need the same question answered, we have a Pumpkin Patch at our church and I need them also to keep for month and a half, Wishing us luck Guilt Trip

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 9:55AM
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farmerdilla

As soon as the ears are fully matured ( kernals hard), you can cut the stalks and stand them upright in bunches ( shocks) to complete drying. Before corn pickers our forefathers did thier filed corn this way. You still have to protect them from squirrels and mice.

Here is a link that might be useful: corn shocks

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 10:47AM
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shot(8 - GA)

Use to be called fodder.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2008 at 11:44AM
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Beeone(4 N. Wyo.)

If the ears are not mature and the kernels hard, cutting the stalks now will result in shrunken kernels which won't be very attractive.

Also, if you cut the stalks and dry/store in the garage, they will retain their current color. When the corn matures and the stalks start to dry down or freeze down, the sun and moisture serve to bleach the color out to create the "fall" look. As a result in order to get that fall appearance to the stalks you will need to leave them outside long enough to ripen and dry down. Once there, you can cut the stalks and store where the squirrels won't get them.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 3:08AM
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grandpop1(7-A)

When they start to turn color, I just cut them and stand the shocks in the sun to dry. Since I've removed the ears, varmits are not an issue.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 9:04AM
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cateyanne(zone 5/6 Northern Ohio)

thanks for the responses. I guess they will have to stay up a little longer they are not turning color at all yet.
farmerdilla; thanks for the pictures. I love the pics of the Henry Bridge, gorgeous!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2008 at 11:16AM
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guilttrip

I harvested all the corn Im going to get. the ear worms got their share, I thought I would cut bundle and hang the stalks from the shop ceiling, Thanks Guilt Trip

    Bookmark   August 11, 2008 at 6:39AM
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