Corn, Blue Star (breeder's selection), Flour (75-110 days)
This is a collection of all of the most unique ears in a very diverse gene pool that was rogued from the Hopi Blue flour corn. This will still yield good flour corn, but it is a more diverse assortment of light blue to purple with non-linear rows of kernels in spirals, star and other interesting patterns. It also has a good amount of dented kernels and strange forked ears. A novelty for the curious gardener!
Can be eaten as sweet corn when picked young and roasted, but is best known for making an excellent, sweet blue corn flour that has 30% higher protein levels than dent corns. Plants are 5 ft. tall and bushy with many tillering side shoots. Ears are a beautiful smooth silvery blue that are 8-10” long with usually 2, but up to 7 per stalk. There is still much variability in this strain with respect to kernel color and degree of kernel denting. Expect ears to mature into shades of light gray/slate blue, to dark blue and purple. Robust, drought-tolerant cultivar selected over many generations. HEIRLOOM, SSF
Packet (One Ounce)
CORN - Zea mays
Growing Tips: Plant corn by direct seeding 1-2” deep after soil has warmed to at least 70° (Triple Play, Painted Hills Sweet & Hooker’s are specifically adapted to cool soil planting so can be planted earlier in the season). You can also transplant corn for earlier crops, but you have to baby them a bit.
Plant Spacing: Seed 6-10 per foot and thin to 1 plant per 8-12”, rows should be 24-36” apart. Hill method: Plant 5-10 seeds 1-2” deep in a mound, which should be 4-5 feet apart. Grow squash in-between and plant pole beans in mound once corn has emerged. Works better with flour corn and popcorn as it becomes somewhat jungle-like to harvest sweet corn with this method.
Pests: Protect young seedlings from bird predation with floating row covers. A common novice gardener problem is to assume that their corn didn’t come up; when in actuality birds such as jays, robins and crows were digging and pulling up the young sprouts. Scarecrows, floating eye balloons and reflective tape are somewhat effective. Dogs are good, too. Corn earworms (which are actually the caterpillar stage of a moth) can be controlled by spraying Bt. (Dipel™ is a brand name of OMRI certified organic control). Or just bear with their minor inconvenience by chopping the tips off of infected ears.
Harvest: Sweet corn when it’s in the “milk” stage, which you can determine by finding an ear whose silks have dried, gently peeling back some leaves while the ear is still on the plant, then nicking a kernel and looking for milky liquid to ooze out. Clear fluid indicates that it is too early, no liquid – you’re too late, save for seed or flour corn. Raccoons can devastate a corn crop if they find it appealing. Some folks put a battery powered radio in their patch to provide a menacing noise deterrent to keep coons at bay.
Diseases: We have not experienced any significant diseases here in Oregon, but my counsel would be ample fertility from well-matured compost and foliar sprays of compost tea, fish emulsion and kelp when plants are young if you do experience yellowing or die back.
Seed Specs: Sweet: 125-225 seeds per/oz.; Popcorn: 250-300 seeds/oz.