Growing Corn in the Portland Area?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by LE6920, Feb 12, 2010.

  1. LE6920

    LE6920 Banned

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    I have about ten acers in the Portland area I would like to start growing a garden on. I would like to start with corn.

    Any words of wisdom on where to buy from and what kind of corn grows best in this area?

    thanks

    Will
  2. PBinWA

    PBinWA Active Member

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    Pick the hottest sunniest spot in your yard.

    Fence it in if you have deer.

    Pick the right seeds - I have no advice on that. Last year I had great big corn but it tasted like crap. Year before it was great. I always have just bought something "sweet" from Bi-Mart and it seems to be hit or miss as to the quality.

    I'd like to hear suggestions on what varieties of sweet corn do well here.
  3. Randini

    Randini Member

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    Golden Bantam is a very popular sweet corn try to find heirlom seeds they are not messed with.
  4. LE6920

    LE6920 Banned

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  5. timbernet

    timbernet Member

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    Jubilee is an awesome corn -- I plant that every-other-year... yummy!!!
  6. Dyjital

    Dyjital Modaholic Gold Supporter

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    water, water, water, water. (often overlooked,)

    A nice locally genetically engineered sweet corn. (the one OSU did)..
    MMMM>... very tasty.
  7. LE6920

    LE6920 Banned

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    Which one are you referring to?
  8. Dyjital

    Dyjital Modaholic Gold Supporter

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    Can't recall the specific, I'd have to talk to my farmer friends on that one. (yes it was stupid of me to say without backup) - I'll see what i can come up with, if I locate specifics i'll throw them up here.

    I remember growing Jubilee? in our garden growing up, always over watered and well worth the wait.
  9. Randini

    Randini Member

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    not sure it's maybe the WAMPUM corn that Dr. James Baggett came up with at OSU.
  10. ArmedAmish

    ArmedAmish Member

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    You might try www.territorialseed.com, they select seed that grows well around here. We've had good luck in the past with their selections.
  11. HappyRoman

    HappyRoman Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Plant as early as possible, leave room between rows for rototiller is you are going to keep cultivated, or less distance between rows if hand weeding, lots of water and fertilizer. and remember Knee high by 4th of July.. or probably to late for real productivity..
    I would have soil chemically analysed and add what's needed for corn specific.. there are several ag services available and the county extension service can help
  12. TAT2D

    TAT2D Member

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    Last time I was at Bi-Mart they had two kinds of Bantam, I think. I'm gathering the attraction of Bantam is relatively quick maturation, in our (Portland area) short season.

    Jack Spirko (sp?) (www.thesurvivalpodcast.com) suggested an idea:

    http://www.thesurvivalpodcast.com/the-three-sisters-garden-the-orginal-survival-garden

    The "Three Sisters"

    a) plant corn (corn needs lots of nitrogen)

    when corn plants are a couple inches tall...

    b) plant pole beans to climb the corn stalks

    Pole beans are a legume and fix nitrogen in the soil. You'll still need to fertilize the first year, but less so in following years

    Once pole beans are going

    c) plant a ground-cover bush (squash...)

    The broad leaves shade the ground below the other growing plants, reducing
    evaporation and easing watering needs.

    I'm thinking I'd like to try this, this year...

    MrB
  13. LE6920

    LE6920 Banned

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    When is early? February/March??????
  14. TAT2D

    TAT2D Member

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    Also note -- the Portland Yard, Garden and Patio show is this weekend (starts today) at the Convention Center. Wife and I are planning to pop over on Sunday and look around, and bounce ideas off their 'master gardeners.' Also, to look for better solutions than 2x8 fir for corralling raised beds.

    http://ygpshow.com/

    Also, tickets are $11 at the door, but Dennis' 7-Ds has 'em for $7, or $9 at a couple other places in town.

    http://ygpshow.com/discounts.php

    MrB
  15. MikeE

    MikeE Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Corn doesn't like cold wet soil. 65 degrees and above for soil temperature. Any cooler and the seed will rot in the ground. It's been a while since I have planted corn because it uses up my limited space, but I would say plant no earlier than mid-May. I plant squash and beans on Memorial day, and they develop rapidly in the warm weather.
  16. DSbur

    DSbur Member

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    Current soil temps around here (PDX area) are 42-46F. The ground is also WAY too wet. You'll just rot your seeds. Start looking around April/May.

    Most of the corn you see along the highways is field corn, not exactly the greatest for eating, unless you are a dairy cow.

    Golden Bantam is a selection from the early 1900's, very sweet but don't expect big ears like you get from the hybrids at the grocery store.
  17. TAT2D

    TAT2D Member

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    The OSU Extension folks also recommended Territorial Seed by name, and their book, "Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades."

    I also picked up a flier for 'Flora and Fauna Books,' out of Seattle, I believe. www.ffbooks.net

    MrB
  18. EZLivin

    EZLivin Gold Supporter Gold Supporter

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    Growing Vegetables West of the Cascades (Steve Solomon) is an excellent book. Best one I've seen for those of us over here on the wet side of the mountains.
  19. Ronin

    Ronin Member

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    That's my bible when it comes to vegetable gardening. Awesome book. He isn't big on corn growing though---we don't have great corn-growing conditions here. Corn needs lots of heat, water, and nitrogen. It also takes up quite a bit of space for what you get.

    I grew corn last year for the first time as part of a three sisters garden. I grew Sugar Dots (seeds from Territorial), planted in late May and early June. I planted them in hills, about half a dozen corn plants per hill, with squash and cukes planted around them. They produced OK, not spectacular, but not bad given that I didn't keep them particularly well weeded or watered. I canned the corn. Tastes great.

    One mistake I made in my three sisters garden was planting the pole beans too late. They didn't really grow much. The corn took a while to get up to size, and I didn't want the beans to outgrow them. Might have been better to plant the corn earlier, but I don't think I'll do the three sisters thing again, row cropping is easier.
  20. BillM

    BillM Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Golden Jubilee is an old standby--one of the first hybrid sweet corns.
    Matures rather late, you might want to plant an earlier variety also
    to spread the maturity time out a bit.

    Corn takes lots of water, and generates quite a pile of stems and leaves.