How to plant corn on your plot, and what you need to consider to get a good harvest?
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It only at first seems that there is nothing difficult in growing this unpretentious crop, but in fact it turns out that many factors must be taken into account in order for the corn yield to be high.
Preparing seeds and planting corn at the optimal time
Some novice gardeners, dreaming of perfect golden corn cobs, rush first to buy the most delicious varieties and allocate space for planting on their site, and only then think about how to plant corn.
In order not to waste time growing seedlings, you can prepare the seeds in advance, thereby significantly accelerating the emergence of seedlings.
For the successful cultivation of corn you need:
- sunny, windless place for crops;
- well-drained, breathable, fertile soil;
- suitable precursors (potatoes, cabbage, cucumbers, tomatoes, zucchini, squash);
- introduction of complex fertilizers;
- abundant watering if necessary;
- regular weeding with loosening of row spacings;
- timely control of insect pests.
Much also depends on how to plant corn: in what time frame, according to what scheme, with or without preliminary seed preparation, etc. It is these questions that will be discussed in the article.
In order not to waste time growing seedlings, you can prepare the seeds in advance, thereby significantly accelerating the emergence of seedlings. Preparing corn seeds for sowing consists in warming them up in the sun for four to five days, followed by soaking in warm water. Additionally, it is recommended to treat the seeds with fungicides before sowing.
Sowing corn can be started in the second decade of May - by that time the frosts will have passed, the soil will warm up to a temperature of +10 +13 degrees, suitable for seed germination (it is recommended to sow sweet corn at a soil temperature of +17 degrees).
Frosts down to -3 degrees for corn are not scary, but if you plant seeds in cold waterlogged soil, seedlings are unlikely to appear - the seeds will simply die in such conditions.
Sowing corn can be started in the second decade of May
What should be the seeding rate
When growing corn, special attention is paid to the seeding rate of seeds, since both too rare plantings, and too thickened, can adversely affect the yield. Rarely standing plants do not fully use moisture and nutrients from the soil, as a result, the yield of corn per hectare is significantly reduced. With excessive thickening, photosynthesis deteriorates, the number of ears on corn decreases and the weight of grains decreases due to the fact that plants shade each other, and after all, corn needs good illumination for normal growth.
On an industrial scale, the seeding rate for maize is determined based on the estimated plant density per hectare and the weight of 1000 grains. Taking these indicators into account, the required number of seeds per square meter can vary significantly. When growing corn for personal use in a small area, there is no need for such calculations - it is enough to follow a certain planting pattern.
Sweet corn growing video
Typically, the maize is planted in two rows for cross-pollination of the plants. A space from 20 cm to 40 cm is left between the rows, depending on the type of corn. If you plan to plant corn along the border of the plot in one row, the distance between the holes can be made 35 cm.The sufficient depth of planting the grains is 5 cm.
Dip two grains into each hole so that in case of poor germination, the yield does not decrease. The emerging seedlings are thinned out, leaving those that look stronger and more developed. Additionally, you can put three beans in the holes (you do not need to thin them out). This will not only save space on the site, but also provide a comfortable support for the curly beans.
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How to grow corn on your site
Corn is a favorite vegetable not only among children, but also among adults. The birthplace of plants of the Bluegrass family is Central America. The culture is one of the most ancient. For the first time, information about corn is found in the legends of the ancient Maya.
The plant is light and heat-loving, it perfectly tolerates the dryness of a hot summer, but does not tolerate shading. Plant vegetation reaches 3-4 months. A monoecious culture with flowers of opposite sex, placed on one ear, is cross-pollinated. Some varieties can grow up to 2.5 m. The culture is the owner of powerful roots with a large number of air layers.
The color of the grains is from milky white to deep orange. In accordance with the properties of the grains, corn is divided into subspecies. Sweet corn is considered the favorite type of summer residents. For industrial value, starchy and waxy crops are grown.
Corn is very beneficial for humans. It contains potassium, calcium, iron, magnesium, which are irreplaceable for the body. The fruit contains the amino acids lysine and tipofan useful for the body.
The plant is used in many ways (in the food industry, as animal feed, in medicine). Summer residents, on the other hand, grow corn for the preparation of spins and boiled consumption.
Winter or spring wheat - which is better
There are several types of wheat:
- hard varieties
- soft varieties.
In turn, each species has winter and spring varieties. There are about 400 species in total. For each region, species are selected that give more yield.
Biological features of spring varieties
Spring wheat differs from winter varieties:
- Greater vulnerability to pests and weeds.
- It cannot grow on acidic soils, as it does not receive nutrients in the required amount.
- Hard varieties of spring wheat are more demanding on nutrients than soft ones.
- Seedlings appear at a temperature of 2 degrees, so spring wheat can be sown in winter.
- Demanding on moisture. Without additional watering, yields are reduced by 60%. Soft varieties are less demanding for watering, as they have a more developed root system, in contrast to hard varieties.
- Wheat is not used as a green fertilizer on podzolic soils in order to domesticate the soil. The plant is only suitable for areas already introduced into the crop rotation as a catch crop.
In addition, you can pick up varieties that are resistant to lodging, leaf rust, septoria. This is important if outbreaks of these infections are noticed at the summer cottage and it is required to give rest to the ground so that the spores of the fungus stop multiplying.
Biological features of winter varieties
Winter varieties have great yield potential - on average 25% more than spring varieties. Winter wheat is grown in areas with unpredictable weather conditions, where temperature differences are large and there is a risk of damage to seedlings.
With autumn sowing on winter wheat siderates, shoots appear earlier, therefore, mowing and incorporation into the ground can be carried out earlier in order to have time to plant seedlings on the prepared soil. Winter cereal varieties work well after corn, potatoes, and clover.
If it is necessary to restore depleted soils, then sowing siderates is carried out 3-4 times per season. Wheat in this case is sown on partially prepared soil. Among winter varieties, the most drought-resistant ones - in the southern regions, it is better to sow winter wheat for green manure.
Planting Corn Correctly for Higher Yields
Corn in Ukraine is grown by small and large farms in almost all regions. This is driven by profitability and demand in the food, livestock and technical industries. Nevertheless, the yield of this crop depends on many natural and technological factors, therefore, it is far from every year that it is possible to increase or even maintain yield indicators. So what determines the yield of corn and how to raise it?
When to plant corn: the benefits of early sowing
Research in the United States has shown that planting early can increase corn yields. This approach provides a number of benefits:
- Corn sprouts thrive when germinating in cool, wet weather
- Plants planted early in the dry summer months will already have a developed root system and will be able to better tolerate a lack of moisture
- With the early sowing of correctly selected varieties, the crop can also be harvested several weeks earlier, which will protect the ears from autumn frosts or the consequences of late harvesting (which often happens during bad autumn weather)
- Plants planted early, often have a lower height and are less susceptible to lodging due to strong winds and unfavorable weather, which allows you to increase the yield
- On average, a decrease in yield due to late sowing occurs more often than due to an earlier one.
Opponents of this approach mention among the possible risks of early seeding:
- Frost Threat - Research in Michigan has shown that even if the sprouts are exposed to frost, it has little or no effect on yields. Early leaves damaged by frost turn out to be shaded or fall off with further development of the stem, therefore crop growth and yield do not depend on them.
- Wet and cold weather - Many modern corn hybrids are resistant to low temperatures or high humidity, so with the right seed selection, the effects of early spring weather can be significantly reduced.
- Rapid development of weeds - since corn is hardly mechanically processed during growth, the problem of weeds can be solved with the right choice of herbicides.
In addition, even if the early seedlings die due to frost or adverse weather conditions, the farmer can re-sow on those areas that are left without most of the seedlings.
How to plant corn for grain
The concept of "early" sowing is estimated and depends on the specific region of cultivation. The sowing time should be chosen based on the soil temperature - at a depth of 10 cm, it should be 8-12 degrees. But at the same time you need:
- Measure the temperature yourself, because the heating of the soil depends on its type and the presence of stubble or sod, so you cannot rely on the general data of agricultural services
- Take into account that at a depth of 10-12 cm, the temperature changes extremely slowly, and by 20 cm and deeper it remains approximately the same all year round. If there is confidence in favorable and warm weather for the next few weeks, then sowing can be started earlier.
Corn seeds are planted according to a specific pattern (more on this below) to a depth of no more than 8 cm using precision seeders. Early hybrids are planted first, as they are more resistant to cold. In addition, the different periods of development of early and late varieties will create conditions for a gradual and efficient harvest.
The average number of plants per hectare depends on the cultivated corn variety and ranges from 55 to 95 thousand - this is about 5-7 plants per linear meter for a row planting. More precise figures can be obtained from the seed manufacturer.
Important:when the planting density is too high, corn stalks begin to compete for sunlight and moisture, so their development slows down, and the yield drops significantly. Plants become more vulnerable to disease.
For growing corn, “light”, drained soil, in plains and uplands, is best suited. The area should be well lit with minimal obstruction to sunlight. Corn grows poorly in lowlands due to the accumulation of groundwater and shorter daylight hours.
Corn yield and profit: why this particular crop
Corn is one of the most widespread crops on the territory of Ukraine and is second only to grain crops in terms of area under crops. This is due to a number of factors, including:
- Availability of food, feed and technical varieties
- A large number of stable and productive hybrids
- High demand for corn in various industries
- The ability to grow in various soils
- Availability of land with optimal climatic conditions (mainly in the south)
- The culture does not require mechanical treatment during growth.
It is also one of the most profitable crops. The profit for one season in relation to the cost of sowing and maintenance can range from 400% to 800%, depending on the yield and market situation. That is why large agricultural companies and small farms are engaged in the cultivation of corn as a business.
How to cultivate the soil for sowing
The way the soil is cultivated for corn depends on the cultivation technology used by the farm. This could be:
- Classic cultivation - provides for the autumn incorporation of crop residues and plowing to a depth of 25-30 cm. In early spring, a cultivator passes through the plowed area, which creates a homogeneous fine-crumb soil structure, levels the bed for sowing and, most importantly, closes the moisture. In classic cultivation, corn is sown at the usual time for this crop, for sowing, you can use proven classic hybrids.
- No-till or "zero" tillage - sowing corn on stubble or sod, without preliminary tillage. This method prevents wind erosion and destruction of the soil structure, but requires the use of special drills with discs that cut the stubble. It should also be borne in mind that when sowing “No-till” the furrows are colder, therefore cold-resistant hybrids are used as the seed.
On drained soils, ridge sowing has shown good results, for which seeders with cultivators are used, but this method is not suitable for “heavy” soils.
How and what to feed corn
The corn plant develops throughout the growing season, so the crop constantly requires nutrients - potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus. Fertilizing the culture takes place in 2 stages:
- When the first leaves appear, at the stage of 4-5 leaves, nitrogen fertilizer is applied (ammonium nitrate with a calculation of 7-8 kg per hectare). In the early stages of development, it is recommended to use an easily soluble organic fertilizer - bird droppings, slurry. They are better absorbed by the root system.
- When panicles appear, superphosphate and potash fertilizers are applied at the rate of 3 kg and 0.5 kg per 1 ha, respectively. If necessary, additional feeding is carried out with karambit or ammonium nitrate.
Poor development and defective stems may indicate a lack of minerals. To avoid this, you can apply complex mineral fertilizers during sowing. Some features depend on the type of soil:
- On chernozems, there is a shortage of potash and nitrogen substances, the shortage of which cannot be compensated for by spring top dressing, therefore, fertilizers on such soils need to be applied in several stages, up to the beginning of grain formation.
- In the forest-steppe and northern regions, corn primarily needs complex mineral fertilizers. Feeding with the rest of the substances is carried out as needed.
You also need to make adjustments to the crop rotation, for example, if corn was sown in an area where potatoes or root crops grew, then additional potassium fertilization will be needed.
Maize planting patterns and their impact on yield
The location of the grains and the distance between them affect the rate of development of the crop and, accordingly, the yield. Farmers are advised to use precision planters (preferably pneumatic) equipped with GPS. Unlike conventional grain seeders, they allow you to regulate the density and uniformity of seeding, on which the yield depends. There are two main schemes for sowing corn:
- Square-nested sowing - the distance between plants is 45 cm, 9-12 plants can be placed per 1 m2. This method is used mainly by households in a small cultivated area because requires preliminary marking of the site and ultra-precise landing.
- Row sowing - the seed is planted in rows. The seeding rate and the row spacing depend on the type of corn grown. For example, low-growing hybrids show the highest yields with a row spacing of 30 cm. Silage varieties can actively grow with row spacings of 20 and even 15 cm. Seeds are planted in a dotted line or staggered. In the second case, the so-called "magic triangle" should be formed.
The development of a plant is also influenced by which end it is located in the ground. Researchers from Ohio found that if the seed fell into the soil with the thin end down, then the sprout appears on average 3 days earlier, and the sunrises are 10% more. True, until the moment of ripening, the difference between plants is almost imperceptible.
The practice of sowing "through the row" in combination with cereals did not give positive results either. Corn yields with wide row spacings, of course, increased, but shaded crops could not develop normally, so on average the yield is the same as with conventional row sowing.
Conclusions: how to plant corn correctly
Based on the results of all of the above, we can draw the following recommendations for effective sowing and growing corn:
- Do not be afraid of early sowing - the risk of losing crops due to late planting of seed is higher than due to earlier planting, and most of the problems associated with weather conditions are solved by choosing the right hybrid.
- Corn should be planted with a certain warming up of the soil. This culture loves well-heated and lighted areas and does not tolerate lowlands with accumulation of groundwater.
- How the soil is cultivated depends on the technology used by the farmer. In general, more progressive “no-till” tillage can increase yields by retaining moisture and soil structure, but traditional plowing works well. The main thing is to meet the deadlines for the work.
- The culture needs a lot of nutrients. For its feeding, nitrogen, potash and phosphate fertilizers are used, as well as complex mineral and organic substances. Fertilizers are applied at the first leaves, and if necessary, throughout the growing season.
- The planting pattern, including the distance between the rows, depends on the cultivated variety. Accurate seeding will require modern agricultural technology with GPS systems.
The equipment for carrying out the whole range of agrotechnical works - from fertilizing to the incorporation of crop residues can be found on our website.
Dill: planting and care in the open field
The garden for spring sowing needs to be prepared in the fall. It is required to dig up the ground to a depth of about 25 cm and add a bucket of humus (one square meter). In the spring, it is enough to level the bed with a rake and make grooves at a distance of 20 cm from each other with a depth of 2-3 cm. Seeds should be sown in them, sprinkled with a small layer of humus on top. You do not need to water until shoots appear.
Throughout the summer, dill can be sown more than once, but at intervals of 20-25 days to get fresh herbs. This is exactly the period of its ripening. By this time, the plant reaches a height of about twenty centimeters. To get the seeds, you will have to wait a little longer until the umbrellas ripen. These are the basic rules for growing dill outdoors. Everything is quite simple and will not cause difficulties even for a novice gardener.
By August, the leaves turn yellow, lodge, the culture is ready for harvesting. Garlic is dug in, shaken off the ground and, after drying, intertwined into braids. As such, garlic is stored in a cool dry place. The shelf life of dry-resistant garlic bulbs is up to 1.5-2.0 years. The vast majority of varieties are stored for up to 10 months.
Varieties of spring garlic for growing in the country:
- The Aleisky mid-season variety, zoned for the conditions of Western Siberia.
- The Sochi-56 variety is early maturing, resistant to weather extremes in the southern regions and diseases. It is successfully grown in the middle climatic zone.
- The Permyak variety is mid-season, intended for the northern regions.
- The Degtyarskiy variety is mid-season for the northern regions.
Using alfalfa as a green manure: pros and cons, planting, care
It is possible to replenish stocks of useful elements not only with the help of organic substances of animal origin. Yes, and chemical preparations, in addition to their high cost, have a number of serious disadvantages. Therefore, farmers are increasingly using natural materials, namely plants.
Alfalfa as a siderat differs in that its capabilities are known to many. But before planting a flower, you need to learn the rules. For example, when is the best time to sow alfalfa: in spring or autumn. Or what are the features of growing, care.
Alfalfa traits: pros and cons
Alfalfa is better known as a forage crop. And only old-timers know about the true purpose of a flower - a natural fertilizer for the soil.
The herbaceous culture has several types: annual and perennial. A family of legumes. The root system is very powerful. Long stem with small leaves. It is not uncommon for alfalfa to grow to human size.
Alfalfa grows throughout the summer. Flowering occurs in mid-June - late July. The inflorescences form a bright bouquet. The color directly depends on the type of plant. At the end of flowering, fruits appear - beans, which become the seed for the next year.
Like all green manure legumes, alfalfa contributes to the enrichment of the soil with a large number of useful elements, but replaces nitrogen fertilizers on the farm. This is due to the tubers on the roots.
After decomposition, which is marked by an increase in fertility, protection from freezing. Therefore, planting alfalfa will be beneficial around wintering crops (onions, garlic, etc.).
Interesting fact! The plant is widely used in folk medicine and in the manufacture of cosmetic substances. Phytopreparations are actively prescribed, which include alfalfa with changes in hormonal levels in adolescents and women in the postmenopausal period.
Plant species and planting goals
It is recommended to plant alfalfa in the garden for several reasons. First: excellent feed for cattle and medium-sized cattle. Grass will be useful as bedding and insulation in poultry farming, breeding rabbits.
Often, alfalfa fields provide hay for the entire year for average barns (with a small number of livestock). Second: it will be beneficial for humans as well as a medicine.
The advantage of the plant is called:
- unpretentious care
- frost resistance
- drought resistance.
Of the minuses, they note the exactingness of the composition of the soil and increased attention to full development (approximately 28-35 days) after sowing.
In total, more than 90 species of alfalfa are represented in nature. This is taking into account the wild representatives of the plant. Popular in terms of breeding and growing in the garden are:
|Hybrid or volatile||"Sparta"|
|Blue or alfalfa sowing||"Uralochka"|
|Crescent or yellow||"Vega"|
There are nuances in the names of hybrids, since each region uses its own, branded varieties.
Preparing for landing
Alfalfa can be planted at any time of the year, not just in spring. All activities are carried out manually, which ensures even rows without oversaturation of the sprouts.
At the same time, an increased concentration of attention and compliance with the rules for preparing the soil and seed material will be required from the agrarian. If everything is done correctly, then there will be no problems with cultivation and care.
Regardless of when the alfalfa is planted, the soil should be prepared in the fall. It is best to dig up the land after harvest. If you plant seeds in the spring, then the soil is additionally harrowed, leveled and rolled a little. Actions are necessary to level and eliminate large lumps, as well as compaction.
Provided that the gardener needs to increase yields on acidic soils, then alfalfa is not suitable for this. If only its qualities are required, it is recommended to additionally process it with lime. Everything is done one year before sowing.
Don't forget about fertilizing alfalfa. Nitrogenous substances are excluded immediately, since the plant produces it in large quantities. It is better to use humus or sulfate during spring planting. You can also fertilize with potassium.
It is imperative to process seed material. The procedure goes as follows:
- removal of weeds, dust and impurities
- warming up.
You can scarify with a clover grater or sandpaper. It is carried out to increase the percentage of plant germination. In extreme cases, grind with sand. Drying is required for 3-5 days in direct sunlight. The last point of preparing the material is warming up. The required temperature is 55-60 degrees.
In order to avoid contamination of the flower with various diseases and pests in advance, TMTD (dressing agent) is used. To obtain a high yield of alfalfa directly, nitraginization is recommended. Can be combined with:
In agricultural technology, it is allowed to simultaneously pickle and use nitraginization.
Landing methods and options
Preparing the soil and seeds for planting is an important point. But to obtain the desired result, namely high yields and increased activity as a fertilizer, you should choose the appropriate planting method and time. In any case, the soil is moistened for better survival.
This method is considered the best for northern regions and in places with high humidity. Objectives: obtaining additional products, eliminating problems with weed overgrowing.
The method provides for the protection of alfalfa during the first months, since the sprouts are very weak. The harvest is also small. But you can compensate by combining during planting with vetch or planting with an oat-pea mixture. Basically, covering is sowing two or more types of plants.
The planting of alfalfa with cereals (winter wheat) is not beneficial. Noble shoots quickly clog young leguminous shoots. Sowing with rump (100 sq. M. = 100 g of seed), timothy (20 g per hundred square meters) is recommended.
It is possible to calculate the seeding rates for the covered method only after taking into account the climatic conditions. If the humidity in the region is increased or the field is irrigated artificially, then up to 160 g of alfalfa is consumed. In dry climates - 70-80 g.
After the preparation of the land plot, regardless of per hectare or one hundred square meters, sowing takes place, soil preparation is provided for in the autumn period.
Further, seeds are scattered manually (if the territory is small) or using technology. Used 2 techniques: along the ridge and across. Seeding rate per one hundred square meters: from 100 to 150 g.
With the cover method, alfalfa is combined with another type of crop. This helps you get results quickly with a minimum of effort. But without a cover, the option is more difficult. After all, such a combination does not happen.
To compensate for the lack of loss of small alfalfa seeds, experts add sawdust, soil or sand to the seed material. Then they are scattered in fan-shaped movements over the site.
The direction should be one way. It has been used for many years and does not misfire. The purpose (animal feed or fertilizer) does not matter.
If the farmer has a manual seeder available, the method changes:
- outline row spacing 10-15 cm
- seed drills close up the seeds
- embedding occurs to a depth depending on the soil (heavy - 2 cm, light - 4 cm)
- harrow after sowing
Spring or Autumn
There is no consensus on the best time to sow alfalfa. Both in spring and before winter, the result will be obtained. If the plant was required as a green manure, then a summer planting option is possible. Great results are noted if the event is scheduled for the spring period.
After the snow melts, the previously prepared seeds are brought into the ground. The soil must be moistened. Processing of the material is not required before winter. Sow before the first frost: end of September - October.
The main condition is to plant correctly. Care is a little difficult the first month after germination. There are no problems in the following months. The important points were: watering, feeding, protection from pests.
It is quite possible to draw up a plan for watering alfalfa. The plant loves water, but does not tolerate waterlogging and slush. Therefore, it is worth adhering to the following recommendations:
- first time: sprout 12-15 cm
- second time: bud formation
- third time: after the first mowing.
The scheme is designed for the first year of cultivation. Further, alfalfa will have long roots that feed well from the depths of the soil layer, provide themselves with moisture well enough.
In dry summers, an increase in the number of watering is not required. The flower will independently provide itself with the necessary substances, liquid. In the presence of nearby groundwater, the volume of introduced water decreases.
Alfalfa needs mineral fertilizers. At the same time, they feed everyone a little. Avoiding nitrogen fertilizer mixtures. The plant independently produces so much nitrogen that the soil is filled with it for several years.
The most demanded substance for alfalfa is phosphorus. It promotes successful cultivation, stimulates growth and flowering. Saltpeter is added as needed. Before starting work, a test is carried out to determine the type of soil and the lack of trace elements.
At the beginning of growth, it is recommended to weed alfalfa from weeds. The process is repeated until the first week of June.
The green manure plant is considered an excellent, and most importantly, a beneficial predecessor for most noble crops. Alfalfa is recommended to be used to accelerate the growth of legumes, oats, corn and wheat. The seeding and maintenance features will not seem complicated if you figure out the sequence and try it out in practice.