Growing corn

This kid that works for me (my "gardener," which sounds a lot more pretentious than it actually merits), insists that to grow corn, it has to be in full sunlight and you have to have at least three rows in order for it to germinate. Is this true?
Thanks!
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wrote:

He's got the right idea. Full sun is best. You get a better yield with 3 or more rows rather than a single long row, or you can grow them in mounds for better pollination. Corn uses a lot of nitrogen.
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The "at least 3 rows" idea is a step in the right direction, but there's a better way. The idea is that corn is pollinated by wind. It receives pollen from its own stalks at the top of the plant, and from adjacent plants. Sometimes, home gardeners plant just one row, and the wind blows much of the pollen off to the side where it achieves nothing. So, at home, it's best to plant in "hills". They're not really hills, just circles. Put 5-6 seeds around the circumference of a circle about as big as you can make with your arms. Make the next hill a couple of feet away, and so on. If you don't have compost, scratch some grandular 10-10-10 fertilizer into the soil.
When I first grew it, my landlord was constantly bringing me fish he'd caught, and he reminded me to bury the remains near the corn after I was done filleting the fish. The result was 600 foot high corn. I might be exaggerating, but not much.
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I remember seeing an old illustration showing native Indians in the US burying a fish next to maize plants for fertilizer.
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Yield is pretty much proportional to amount of sunlight, all other factors being equal.
Planting scheme has nothing to do with germination, but corn planted in other than big blocks (10x10 row minimum) should probably be hand pollinated (easy but tedious) to avoid lots of "blanks" (undeveloped kernals).
Corn is terribly sensitive to drought during the stages that the pollen is developing (from before tassel emergence to full tassel), so it needs to be kept watered at that point especially.
And there are some other gotchas with pollination, depending on the type you're growing -- supersweet, extra sweet, regular...
I still say most home gardeners are better off buying their sweetcorn locally from produce stands when you consider space and water and time.
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