Latin Name: Zea mays
Item #: 396B
ORNAMENTAL INDIAN CORN - for decorative purposes
10-12 lbs/5-5.4 kg per acre, 2 oz/57 g sows about 75-100 ft/23-31 m of row (2 x 50 ft/15 m rows)
CULTURE: Indian corn does not have the taste of most sweet corn varieties and though it can be eaten in niblet form, it is usually grown for decorative purposes. For better color combinations make sure you plant at least 3 or 4 rows side by side 2.5 ft/76 cm apart and separate from late varieties of sweet corn which it may contaminate with multi-colored kernels, through wind pollination. Single rows will produce poor quality ears. Indian corn is a tall late plant and should be started as early as possible in the spring to reach full maturity in Sept. Home gardeners are advised to start seed in 2.25 in/6 cm peat pots indoors May 1st - May 15th at 2 seeds per pot, set plants outdoors June 10th, thin seedlings to one per pot.
Commercial growers should sow seed as soon as soil temp. reaches 65°F/18°C which is about May 15th for us at Stokes Farms. Sow in hills or groups of 3 to 4 seeds per hill, 0.5 in/13 mm deep, cover seeds and firm. Thin seedlings to one plant per hill. Space rows 2.5 ft/76 cm apart or about 38 in/97 cm apart for commercial plantings. Growers should space plants 9-10 in/23-25 cm apart in the rows.
FERTILIZER: Apply approx. 300 lbs/136 kg of 6-24-24 per acre before seeding. Home gardeners can apply 10 lbs/5 kg of 5-10-5 per 1,000 sq. ft. Use additional light side dressings of nitrogen and phosphorous at planting time in a band 2 in/5 cm to the side and 2 in/5 cm below the seed. Do not touch the seed with fertilizer, it will burn the seed causing seed rot. If extra nitrogen is applied during the growing season do it before plants are 12 in/31 cm. high.
INSECTS: For high quality corn, some effort must be made to control ear worms and corn borers. Use Sevin XLR (or organic methods) in 5 day intervals after the stalks are 18 in/46 cm high. As silks appear 4 or 5 more applications at 3 day intervals. For use of an insecticide treatment contact your local government control agency for advice.
BIRD DAMAGE: Small plantings can be protected by placing 16 in/41 cm paper bags over the ears a week before picking (late Aug. or early Sept.)
HARVEST: Pick the cobs when fully mature and highly colored. Do not remove husks or kernels tend to become misshapen. Store them in a dry place for 2-3 weeks. Then carefully strip back the leaves, without removing them. Husks or leaves may be left their dry brown color or dipped in green dye for a fresh appearance. Hang ears by their leaves for further drying. Multi-colored kernels become marble-like and hard as a rock. Ears last for many years. Indian corn sells at a premium before Thanksgiving and Halloween.