Organic Corn Pest Management

The corn has started putting out silks! Wooh! I’m so nervous about their success, I’m biting my nails. Everyone I talked to told me that growing corn organic successfully is extremely difficult. Corn earworms, armyworms, and the ever present grasshopper population can cut a corn harvest down to nibblets instead of ears.
For the grasshoppers I’ve been using the spider web method. When you find a grasshopper, you catch it, put it in a jar with, and release it into the web of your local, grateful garden spider.
My grandma advised me to tie a string around the silks to keep the earworms out, she said that her mom used to do it so I thought I’d give it a try. I was also advised to put a drop of mineral oil or baby oil on the silks to keep the worms at bay.
The corn is so tall, it really stands out in the front ‘yard’. We have a 5 ft deep strip of dirt in front of the house that is the entirety of the front yard, its a perfect environment to practice vertical gardening. This season I’ve put in red dent corn to try and make corn meal and I think I’m going to try a straight row of sweet corn the next season and grow peas or beans up them.

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