Besides the tomatoes I’m keeping watered during this drought, I am also watering this one four foot by twenty foot bed of sweet corn. The sweet corn is doing exceptionally well in this bed this year.
Here’s what I did to get these good results:
- I let this wide-row bed lie fallow for two years, and I had a deep layer of mulch hay covering the bed during this time.
- After removing the hay mulch and leaving about a one inch surface layer of rotted hay compost, I then ran the Troy Horse tiller over the surface to cultivate the top layer.
- Next, I used the John Jeavons double dig (video below) method to deeply prepare the bed and additionally work in the hay compost.
- Finally, to help preserve moisture during the drought, provide slow release nitrogen and block weed growth, I also put down several layers of newspaper between the rows and covered these with a thick layer of grass clippings.
It took some work, but the results have been tremendous. This typically moderately tall corn is eight to nine feet tall, very dark green with thick, strong stalks and leaves. The ears are starting to silk and grow hearty, well-formed ears.
Now the task will be to keep the raccoons out. I’ll provide another update once he ears come to maturity.
What are some of your sweet corn growing secrets and tips?