We are growing 16 corn plants in an earthbox. I don't know what to expect. Right now, the plants are at different heights 4-5 feet, but gangly and a pale green. Flower stalks have formed, but I am wondering when and if they will form corn with the silk tassels, and if I am giving it too much water. Today, I plan to give it a sea weed drink. What do you think?
Hardiness Zone: 9a
Annie from Sacramento
From what I know about Earthboxes, it's impossible to water them too much (or too little) as long as you keep the water reservoir full. Because Earthboxes come with potting mix and the appropriate amount of fertilizer, you shouldn't need to supply your corn with additional nutrients. I'm assuming that your Earthbox was commercially purchased and that you're using the soil and fertilizer granules that came with the kit. Adding a liquid fertilizer actually defeats the purpose of the Earthbox system. It's set up to work on a gradient-nutrients move from areas of a higher concentration to areas of lower concentration. Dry fertilizer is placed in a band around the plants on the top of the potting soil. When water is added, the moist potting soil slowly pulls nutrients down to the plant's roots so the plants have a steady and stable supply of nutrients. The moisture in the soil dilutes the fertilizer and prevents the plant's roots from getting burned. Adding liquid nutrients would destabilize this process and possibly damage the roots of your plants. Gangly, pale green stalks may signal your corn is not getting enough sun. If, on the other hand, you didn't fertilize using the fertilizer supplied with your Earthbox, your corn is probably very hungry and you can go ahead and give it some diluted liquid fertilizer. Ears should form as soon as the stalks are pollinated.
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You are certainly doing okay with an earthbox but corn must have 2 things--lot's of SUN and tremendous amounts of FERTILIZER. I have been too sick to have a large garden so I planted 18 corn plants in a small raised bed. But I had to purchase the young plants and transplant them. They were light colored and sickly looking until I started giving them Fish Emulsian fertilizer each day. I will give them this food dose each day until they are healthier. The tassles will form, but if there is not enough wind or birds to spread the pollen, you can tkae your hand and shake the tassles on each other to pollinate.
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