Popcorn is a beloved snack that many people enjoy, and growing your own popcorn can be a fun and rewarding experience. If you’re interested in growing popcorn in your backyard or garden, you’ll need to start with the right seeds. In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about popcorn seeds for planting.
What are Popcorn Seeds?
Popcorn seeds, also known as maize, are a type of corn that is grown specifically for popping. Unlike other types of corn, popcorn kernels have a hard outer shell and a starchy interior that allows them to expand and burst when heated. This is what creates the crunchy, fluffy texture that we associate with popcorn.
Where Can You Buy Popcorn Seeds?
You can find popcorn seeds at many gardening stores or online retailers. It’s important to look for seeds that are specifically labeled as popcorn seeds, as other types of corn may not pop properly. Some popular varieties of popcorn seeds include White Cloud, Strawberry, Baby Rice, and Tom Thumb.
When Should You Plant Popcorn Seeds?
The best time to plant popcorn seeds is in the spring, after the last frost has passed. Popcorn requires warm soil to germinate, so it’s important to wait until the soil has warmed up before planting. You can also start popcorn seeds indoors a few weeks before the last frost, and then transplant them outside once the weather has warmed up.
How to Plant Popcorn Seeds
Before planting popcorn seeds, you’ll need to prepare your garden or planting area. Popcorn requires well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. You can add compost or other organic materials to your soil to improve its quality.
To plant popcorn seeds, create shallow trenches in your soil that are about 1 inch deep. Space the trenches about 12 inches apart, and place the popcorn seeds about 6 inches apart within the trenches. Cover the seeds with soil and water them well. Popcorn seeds should germinate within 7-10 days.
How to Care for Popcorn Plants
Once your popcorn plants have germinated, it’s important to continue caring for them properly. Popcorn plants require consistent moisture, so be sure to water them regularly. You should also fertilize your plants every 2-3 weeks with a balanced fertilizer.
Popcorn plants can grow quite tall, so it’s important to provide them with support. You can use stakes or cages to help keep the plants upright.
When to Harvest Popcorn
Popcorn typically takes about 90-100 days to mature. You’ll know that your popcorn is ready to harvest when the kernels are hard and the husks have turned brown. To harvest your popcorn, cut the ears from the stalks and remove the husks. Allow the kernels to dry for a few weeks before popping.
Growing your own popcorn can be a fun and rewarding experience, and with the right seeds and care, you can produce delicious popcorn right in your own backyard. By following these tips for planting and caring for popcorn seeds, you’ll be on your way to enjoying fresh, homegrown popcorn in no time.