A look at corn in a square foot garden

I haven’t grown corn in a few years only because it takes up an entire 4X4′ box and it’s pretty cheap during the summer months.  The first year I grew corn I had over 100 ears in this same box.  While it’s true the second ears were a bit smaller it was still a lot of corn grown in a very small area.  This has a while to go, but I’m beginning to see some tasseling.  You’ll also notice the different sizes of stalks.  I planted 4 squares of corn every 5 days to avoid the all-at-once harvest.  This particular variety is Spring Treat-available everywhere.  I picked this variety because of it’s shorter time to harvest, its ability to germinate in cooler temperatures, the shorter stalk, and the sweetness of the corn.  It’s been planted 4 per square.  Given the right conditions, this should produce at least 64 heads of corn.  That’s only counting 1 corn per stalk, and I think I’ll get more than that.  This was also a weaker attempt at the 3 sisters method.  I will do this again next year, but I’ll be sure to do it correctly.  You can see the butternut squash beginning to grow in front, and the pole beans beginning to climb the tower in the back.  I’ll have a post on the 3 sisters later, but it should have been done differently.  In theory, this isn’t the 3 sisters method at all.  I had already begun growing my pole beans before I had put corn in as closely as it needs to be.  Pole beans in the back, corn in the middle, and butternut squash in the front.  What you can’t see as easily in this picture is more squash-which I will not grow vertically-and bush beans scattered among the corn.  This will add the needed (hopefully)nitrogen that corn requires.  It’s my idea of a middle ground technique for the 3 sisters method given the fact that I didn’t start out planning it correctly.  But it will produce a lot of goodies for us by the time it’s all done.  Total square footage used for this project of at least 64 ears of corn, a summers load of pole beans, a harvest of butternut squash, and a summers growth of bush beans: 24.

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