Why would a person plant corn when the potatoes aren’t even in yet? Bear with me.
Next to tomatoes, I believe sweet corn is my favorite vegetable crop. And for much the same reason; you simply can’t buy corn anywhere, even at roadside stands, that tastes as good as fresh picked from the garden.
So several years ago I decided to try something that I was convinced was stupid. I started corn seed indoors.
Now you know if you’ve grown corn before that as you plant seeds some won’t germinate, leaving gaps in the row. And you’ve probably tried digging up a stray corn seedling and replanting it in the empty space.
If that’s the case, then you also know that corn sucks at being dug up and moved. If the seedling survives the move, it’s stunted and rarely produces ears.
That’s why I thought starting corn in a flat indoors was a hopeless, desperate venture. Why would it work any better than digging up a garden-grown seedling with a big root ball and transplanting it?
Well, it does. It works fantastically.
Before trying this method my average first ear ripened in the second week of August. Since, the average is the second week of July, adding 3 to 4 weeks of extra fresh sweet corn to our table. That all happens because the tender corn seedlings can get a jump on the weather indoors.
There are risks. Always risks in gardening, which is one reason you’re addicted, right?
You need to be gentle while you’re handling the little guys between the flat and the ground. They’re still baby corn plants without much root structure. One year there was a hard frost in the Spring, and I had to scurry to rig up sheets and whojiggits to cover the rows. The corn seedlings wilted a little, turned a little brown around the gills, but in the end they popped back and still gave me corn.
Worth the risk.