This prevents the spread of soil-borne pathogens from any of the previous crops planted at that particular site. It also prevents nematodes if present. If you have an option, prefer sites where crop rotation has been followed, as these sites have less chances of disease occurrence.
Also, if possible, plant leguminous plants such as peas and beans prior to planting corn, so that the nitrogen content increases and it becomes more enriched (leguminous plants enrich the soil with nitrogen with the help of their legumes).
The first and foremost thing to be taken care of is sowing the right variety of corn, since for each type, the requirements are different. For example, "sugar-enhanced" and "super-sweet" corn can't tolerate low temperatures, so they should be planted only after frost, when the temperature is around 17 ºC.
Normal "sweet corn", on the other hand, can be grown early, even when the atmospheric temperature is around 10 ºC. Also make sure that the corn seeds are fungicide-treated and are of resistant variety.
Less plants per block hampers the pollination and results in short cornstalks and fewer cobs. Watering should be done regularly. Too little or too much watering always leads to disease problems.
When the plants reach a height of about 50 cm, the watering frequency should be brought down to once a week. Also, this is the time to feed the crop with external nutrients in order to have a good harvest. Usually chemical fertilizers are not preferred since they have side effects in the long run.
Use eco-friendly organic fertilizers made of kitchen garbage, food leftovers. Depending on cultivars, ear (female inflorescence) and tassel (male inflorescence) develop at a fixed time and pollination occurs. Gentle shaking of plants increases fertilization chances, leading to uniform kernel development.
Diseases and Pests
As long as crop rotation, nutrient balance, and proper watering are practiced, this plant is rarely damaged by diseases and pests. However, diseases do affect them when this routine is disturbed. Let's see some of the commonly occurring diseases.
Rust, smut, leaf blight, root and stalk rot, seed rot, and seedling diseases are the ones that occur most commonly. Rust is developed due to less moisture and low temperature, whereas smut develops due to excess water and high temperature. Corn leaf blight develops mostly due to monoculture of corn for subsequent years.
Overcrowding and poor drainage may result in root and stalk rot disease. Seed rot and seedling disease spread through poor quality seeds. In addition, there are nematode diseases, viral diseases, and bacterial diseases whose exact causes are not known.
The experience of picking up ripe corn right from your garden can be really great. You can try many of the mouth-watering recipes with the freshly picked sweet corn. Cornbread salad, corn cobbler, corn patties, corn casserole, corn salsa, scalloped corn, corn fritters, corn pudding are few of them, and also popping corn.