Tag Archive for: On Deck Hybrid

You may remember that earlier this year, I was excited to try my hand at growing container corn.

I learned about container corn when I was reading through Burpee’s catalog.  They had a hybrid corn called, ‘On Deck’, which was specially bred to grow in containers.  Each stalk was said to produce 2 – 3 ears.  

Well, I like to try new things in the garden and then tell you all about them.  So, I ordered the seeds and got ready.  You can read about how I prepared in my earlier blog post “An Old Whiskey Barrel and Corn Seeds”.

Container Corn

I hand-watered my seeds and was delighted when they quickly sprouted.

I planted a few nasturtiums in the front because I like to grow flowers with my vegetables.

Container Corn

The corn grew quickly, but I started to see a problem…

The corn on the outside was not growing as quickly as those in the middle.  I suspect that maybe that was because the corn in the middle received more water and/or had more room to grow their roots.

The reason it is a problem is because in order to have a good corn crop with ears full of kernels, they need to be adequately pollinated.  This is achieved by having multiple rows of corn.

In this case, I had plenty of corn stalks for pollinating.  The problem was that the outer corn weren’t maturing as quickly as those in the middle.  

Container Corn

As a result, the inner corn stalks started sprouting corn before the outer stalks and there was not enough pollen available.

I did get 3 tiny ears of corn among the center stalks – not worth eating at all.

I was going to pick the ears of corn so that I could show you how small they were.  But…  

Container Corn

The birds got to my container corn first.

I have grown corn in my vegetable gardens every year and have never had a problem with birds eating it.

But, they evidently loved my container corn.

**I watered my container corn diligently, taking care not to over water.  They were planted in good-quality planting mix and given slow-release fertilizer.

While I did like how they looked growing in my whiskey barrel, I am not impressed with their uneven growth and lack of corn.

Needless to say, I won’t be growing container corn anytime soon.  I am planning on planting strawberries in it this next spring though 🙂

A couple of months ago, the new Burpee seed catalog came in the mail, which is always an exciting event in my world.

You see, I have been reading through their catalog since I was a little girl.  I would go through the entire catalog and read the descriptions of flowers and vegetables and circle the ones that I would plant in my imaginary garden.

Now that I am all grown up, I actually buy the seeds I like and plant them in my ‘real’ garden.  

One of the seed descriptions caught my attention.  Corn that you can grow in a container – yes, you heard me right…in a container.

growing vegetables in containers

Well, I have been a recent convert to growing vegetables in containers, so I knew that I had to try these out.

They came in the mail a few weeks ago and I had wait very patiently (not!) until my local gardening calendar said that it was okay to plant them.  The official date to begin planting corn on my zone 9a garden is March 1st.  But, I decided that today (Feb. 23rd) was  a good time to plant them, even though I was a week early.

Did I mention that I am a patient gardener?

I found the perfect container for my new container corn….a half whiskey barrel that I found at our local Home Depot.

container corn

The barrel still smelled like whiskey, which I think makes it just that much cooler.  It didn’t have any holes, so I drilled some holes on the bottom.

container corn

Then my wonderful husband added the soil for me.  I like to think that I am able to pour big bags of soil and I can, but not without a lot of ‘huffing and puffing’ followed by a bit of a backache the next day 😉

Now, it was time to add my precious new corn seeds…

Sweet corn

Originally, I was going to place the container of corn plants next to my vegetable garden located in the side yard – but, I am already planning on growing ‘regular’ corn in that garden and you have to keep different types of corn separate from each other or they will cross-pollinate and the resulting corn will be different.

So, we placed the corn next to my smaller vegetable garden just off of the patio where it will get full sun.

The seeds should take 7 – 14 days to germinate and then I can harvest ears of corn in 63 days.

I can’t wait to see how they grow.  If they turn out well, I may plant them again in August.

If you want to try this new type of corn – clink the link below:

Burpee’s On Deck Corn Hybrid