Corn – Falling Over

Q: How do you keep corn stalks from falling over? I have a small vegetable garden with three rows of ‘Silver Queen’ corn. After every heavy rain just about all the stalks are on the ground!

So far most have survived, after I straightened them up, but I don’t remember my grandfather, who had large fields of corn in Luthersville, having this kind of trouble. The corn is planted twelve inches apart with three feet between rows. Would planting them closer keep them from falling over?

A: One thing your grandfather probably did was to plant with a mule. He could cut a deep furrow and plant the corn at the bottom. After the corn sprouted, a trip down the rows behind “Jack” would push soil into the row to strongly anchor the plants. If you have well-drained garden soil, try planting your corn in furrows eight inches deep and anchoring the plants with an inch of soil every week until they are two feet tall.

A few years ago I had the same problem as you in my piddly backyard corn patch. They fell over multiple times. I finally resorted to running a trellis wire between posts at the ends of my corn rows. The corn plants stayed upright and bore a good crop of corn.

Then the raccoons harvested every ear of it the day before I planned to pick it all!

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