How to water the corn
Irrigation is a key moment in the cultivation of corn, on which the success or failure of the harvest in terms of quality and quantity depends. Maize needs a mild and sufficiently warm climate, as too low temperatures can compromise germination; for this reason, the periods of the year in which it is grown may not provide sufficient rainfall for its growth. It should therefore be irrigated abundantly and at least weekly during periods of drought; moreover it is advised, before sowing, to prepare in advance the field during the summer and autumn periods with deep plowing that favor the storage of water in the ground avoiding its dispersion. Furthermore, it is advisable, after every rain, to practice a good weeding, that is a superficial processing of the soil that interrupts the capillarity, significantly reducing the evaporation of the water.
How to cultivate and treat corn
In spring, when temperatures cool down and do not drop below 15 degrees, it is possible to plant the seeds, preferably in rows 40 cm apart, in 2-3 cm deep holes and taking care to insert 2-3 per well. When at least three to four leaves sprout, it is possible to thin out, that is, to eradicate the weakest plants in order to guarantee sufficient nutrients and water to the most vigorous ones. Until reaching 50 cm in height, periodic weeding should be practiced to interrupt the capillarity of the soil and guarantee the right soil moisture. After the last weeding we proceed instead to the earthing up, which favors the emission of the adventitious roots with the disadvantage however of increasing the evaporating surface of the soil. This practice must therefore be repeated a maximum of a couple of times and avoided in arid territories or in periods of drought. In the summer period, before the vegetation on top of the spikes takes on a color that is too dark, the product is harvested, then dried and then shelled.
How and when to fertilize corn
To ensure good growth of the corn and satisfactory production of ears it is important to fertilize the soil adequately. Even before sowing, in fact, during the preparation of the field, it is recommended to use organic fertilizer, such as manure or compost, to be spread on the ground before plowing. Manure is the fundamental fertilizer for maize and should be used in large quantities, around 400-600 quintals per hectare. This early fertilization should be integrated during the production period with mineral fertilizer rich in phosphorus and potassium. For naturally less fertile soils or poor availability of manure, nitrates should also be administered on the roof, immediately before the earthing up. Obviously, the choice of fertilizer dosage must vary according to the characteristics of the soil.
Maize: Corn diseases and possible remedies
Maize is fortunately a very resistant plant; however it can be attacked by insects such as aphids, mole crickets and moths which nest in the leaves and among the grains of the cob. The most feared is surely the Pyrausta nubilalis, a moth that lays its eggs on the leaves, from which larvae are born which infiltrate the stems weakening the plant causing its rupture. In this case it is necessary to destroy the stems and proceed with the burning of all the vegetable residues of the cultivation. To combat these insects, in general, insecticides are used. Diseases of the plant are instead caused by fungi that can induce the rot of the stem, which determines the fall of the ears, or the coal (Ustilago maydis), which causes plant tumors. These diseases are prevented by avoiding sowing too deep and over-watering the soil.