Tuesday, March 10, 2009

skippy loves popcorn

skippy and popcorn

Just a little for Skippy - but its one of his favorite snacks on a weekend evening. With extra butter.

I love to look at my popcorn seed collection:
Baby Golden (a free sample from Sand Hill Preservation Center)
Faribo White
Tarahumara White (oops - this is a sunflower not a popcorn!)

Three types! I can't wait to plant these in a few weeks. It will be my first time growing popcorn. Or any corn at all. I think these are all small varieties. Relatively (4-5 ft tall). We're looking forward to many ears and evenings of buttered popcorn this fall.

Popcorn (Zea mays averta)


Dan said...

Skippy is so cute, looks like he is zoned in on the popcorn.

I was just reading about popcorn in the 'Heirloom Vegetable Gardening' book. He writes that the longer the popcorn is stored the better it pops and also mentions to freeze it first to improve popping. Both new to me.

I am planing fall crops already and just looked up Sand Hill Preservation Center. They have a great mix of seed and everything I am looking for to fill my coldframe and poly tunnel. Thanks for mentioning them.

Anonymous said...

Skippy looks totally enamored of the popcorn :-D I miss having popcorn - do you know of a CT or MA source for it? (Don't have the space to grow my own)...

Anonymous said...

I once had a Golden Retriever who loved popcorn!

Our CSA grew some wonderful popcorn last year - but I don't know the variety. I'll be interested to hear how your varieties do.

Anonymous said...

The things to pay attention to are days to maturity and length of your season.

If you are growing 3 kinds of corn, you won't be able to save seeds, so you may as well try to create as large a block as possible so it will better cross-pollinate. You'll get more kernels on the cobs that way.

The thing is, if the different kinds of corn have different days to maturity, the tassels and ears will probably form at different times. What you probably want to do is try to time the plantings such that the maturity is about the same time.

The other thing is your growing season. Most corn varieties are really heat loving, and need hot days and warm nights to mature cobs. It's possible your hot season isn't long enough for this, a problem I've had in the past with long season popcorn. It would be a good idea to think about this before you plant it.

What I remember about the days of my childhood my family spent in Maine was June, July and August were the only real hot months. If this is about the same as you, I would avoid corn that needs more than about 90-100 days to mature.

Also, corn seed will rot if you put it into cold ground, but will do fine if planted in cold ground soon after starting indoors. It's best to start it about a month before setting out, and what's important is the seed has germinated not how big the plant is.

kathy said...

Thanks Patrick. These 3 varieties are all 100 days to maturity. So I can plant them all together.

I'll try starting them indoors in early May and set them out when it gets hot in early June.

You're right that it starts to cool off here in September. So June, July and August will be the growing months.

My thought was to try a three sisters planting (corn, beans and squash), but haven't researched this yet.

I hope this year will be better weather for corn. I noticed this note at Sand Hill Preservation Center about their corn crop last year. It was really wet and cool here during May and much of June last year:

"Corn Note: Our very late, weather-related, start caused us many problems with corn this year. We didn't get our first corn planted until late June and, with many weeds and other issues, some just didn't get cared for properly. We hope 2009 will be better."

Adriana said...

You inspired me to grow my own popcorn. I'll be growing Botanical Interests Strawberry Popcorn Seed.

Melinda Gustafson Gervasi said...

Any recommendations on a type to grow for a newbie gardener located in Madison, Wisconsin?

Also, I assume the ears have to dry...can you explain how you go from a fresh ear of corn to popcorn?

kathy said...

I can't recommend varieties because this is my first year growing corn of any type.

I've also never dried my own. I'll have to figure this out too.

I did get a nice ear from my CSA last year. The kernels were dried on the cob. They popped super well and were delicious, though smaller than store bought.

Mama, Papa, and Son said...

Our dog loves popcorn as well. He hears it popping on the stove and waitg patiently near you for his popcorn treat! Nothing quite like sharing a snack with your pooch.

Chiot's Run said...

Lucy loves popcorn as well. I tried to grow it last year but the rabbits kept eating the corn shoots.