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Corn spacing in a raised bed

 
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I'm using half-barrel raised beds this year. Each bed is 24" × 34". I'm thinking of planting 10 corn seeds in each of two beds (two rows of five), for a total of 20 stalks.

Everything on planting corn is written for large-scale farming and advises planting far enough apart for a combine tire to fit between your plants. What's the reality? Will my plan produce acceptable results?
 
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We planted our seed in a raised bed. The seed were space about a 4" apart.  

One year when we were in Indiana, we saw corn growing so close to each other you could not see through the patch.
 
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Sounds a little tight to me, but see what happens and let us know.  How to grow more Vegetables (I just looked this up for you, this book has raised bed plant spacing in charts) shows minimum plant spacing of 15" ,  I have done one square foot per plant in my raised beds, depends on type of corn too.  So if I was planting your beds it would be 2 rows of 3 plants ( so total of 6 plants)   Corn is a heavy feeder, and especially if you are growing it close you need have fertile soil or feed dilute urine or something.

The other thing you need to look out for is pollination, with so few plants you will need to hand pollinate and it won't be as many plants as one would like for seed saving.  

Personally, I would put something else in those beds this year if I had limited space for food.  Now if I was wanting to learn and experiment on a certain crop I might go ahead.  If you have some really cool corn seed, do know it stays viable for a long time.
 
Sue Reeves
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Anne Miller wrote:We planted our seed in a raised bed. The seed were space about a 4" apart.  

One year when we were in Indiana, we saw corn growing so close to each other you could not see through the patch.



Did you thin it later ? How much corn did you get?

 
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I set mine about 8 inches  apart BUT corn here is much smaller as we have cooler temps and a short growing season, no sweetcorn here gets more than 1 full and perhaps a half head per plant, (they don't tiller or if they do the tillers do not produce anything)
 
Sue Reeves
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When I used to have enough sunny space outside of my raised beds I would grow in a more 3 sisters way and then corn was grouped so a group of 3 or 4 corn plants in a square foot but then a few feet until the next grouping so the leaves and tillers all had room. Never could get beans to do much in that arrangement but the corn and squash did well and the squash kept the racoons out of the corn
 
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In my open fields, I figure that corn needs 2.5 square feet per plant for best productivity, so I'd put no more than 6 plants in a container that size (figuring that the plants use the space a foot out from the pot).
 
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I'm concerned that your beds/containers might be too shallow.
From your description, it seems you are splitting the barrels lengthwise.
That would mean the bed is only 12" deep at its deepest points, and much shallower over most of it.
Might be fine,  I've just always thought of corn as deep rooted.
 
Anne Miller
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Anne Miller wrote:We planted our seed in a raised bed. The seed were space about a 4" apart.  

One year when we were in Indiana, we saw corn growing so close to each other you could not see through the patch.



Debi Baker wrote: Did you thin it later ? How much corn did you get?



We have not thinned the corn.  It is too early in the year and we have not had very warm weather yet.  I don't have a seed pack handy though I feel it takes 50 to 60 days maybe before it tassels?

Some we planted maybe 45 days ago and are about 2 feet tall and some were planted within the last couple of weeks and are only a few inches tall.

W didn't plant any last year and the year before dear hubby planted it in the wrong direction and the wind did its best to ruin it.
 
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William Bronson wrote:I'm concerned that your beds/containers might be too shallow.
From your description, it seems you are splitting the barrels lengthwise.
That would mean the bed is only 12" deep at its deepest points, and much shallower over most of it.
Might be fine,  I've just always thought of corn as deep rooted.



I would be concerned with the depth as well.
Last year I planted blocks of corn 4 rows wide and 10 feet long on an offset 9x9 spacing. It worked really well for us, but we did mulch/fertilize with the litter from the chicken coop. High nitrogen.

I think If I were going to try your setup I would be inclined to plant 2 rows closer together , or kind of a staggered/ offset row, more in the center and possibly some bush beans along the sides. That might provide enough root binding to keep the corn from tipping over in the wind at full growth.You will still need to deal with the feeding aspect. Dilute urine is a good place to start as already mentioned.
 
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