Rainbow Indian corn, also sometimes called ‘’Flint corn,’’ is a type of corn that produces grains with a hard outer layer, and kernels that are said to be hard as flint. Flint corn has been cultivated for at least 9,000 years in Mexico and was long ago brought north to the Great Plains where the oldest evidence of cultivation of this type of corn dates to 1,000BCE.
Cultivated by many First Nations tribes for its resistance and versatile culinary properties, the grains are less prone to rot in storage and thus could be kept for longer periods of time than dent corn. Because of its low water content and adaptability, Rainbow Indian corn was the only crop in Vermont that survived the notorious ‘’Year without a summer’’ of 1816.
Rainbow Indian corn come in a multitude of colours with shades of orange, gold, yellow, blue, pink-purple and more. In fact, there are no identical ears. The tall, sturdy plants grow to about 5-7 feet with ears that reach 8-10 inches on average, a great shade provider in the garden. Mostly grown nowadays as an ornamental plant, Flint corn can also be grounded for flour or cooked as popcorn. Consider incorporating it into your ‘’three sisters’’ garden for a stunning colourful addition to your fall décor arrangements.
- Row Spacing: 30-45 cm
It just wouldn’t be summer without enjoying fresh corn on the cob as often as possible. On top of being a beloved symbol of summer, corn can be popped, fashioned into festive decorations or used as animal feed.
It is advantageous to plant corn early because of its need for a long growing season. But, it will not fare well by being started indoors, transplanted or sown into cold soil. Wait until 2 weeks after the last frost to sow seed outdoors or when soil temperatures reach at least 16°C. Plant seeds 2 cm deep, 15 cm apart in rows 75-90 cm apart and water well.
Corn is a very heavy feeder of nutrients and water. If possible, plan ahead the fall prior and prepare the bed by mixing in a hefty amount of compost.
When plants reach 8-10 cm tall, thin them out to a distance of 20-30 cm. Corn has shallow roots, so mulch, weed carefully and water well.
About 2 cm of water/week should suffice. Give more in times of excessive heat or drought. An application of high-nitrogen fertilizer a couple times throughout the season will appreciably accelerate growth.
It is dependent on variety, but corn may take up to 100 days to mature. Warmer air will ripen ears faster. Pay attention to the tips of the ears, they will become more rounded when it’s time to pick. Other good indications of readiness are milky kernels and browning silk. When they reach this point, do not wait to harvest. Pull down on the ears and twist to remove from the stalk. If it is corn you plan on eating, prepare it immediately for consumption or preservation.
- Corn is a cereal grain first domesticated in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. Imported into Europe by the navigator Christopher Columbus, corn quickly became a staple food in many parts of the world.
- To prevent cross-pollination from altering crop, plant at least 100 meters from other corn varieties or stagger planting by 20 days. Plant in blocks of at least four rows for proper pollination.
- Corn seeds will remain viable for 2 years if stored in a cool, dark place, ideally between 4 and 10⁰C. After that, the germination rate may start to go down.
OUR SEED GUARANTEE
You know that a lush, fruitful garden needs good soil, frequent watering, and sunlight to grow, but it’s the seeds that really make the harvest.
Picked and bagged for 2023 the vast majority of our seeds have germination rates of over 85%. The seeds are all-natural, non-GMO, non-hybrid, untreated, and open-pollinated for seed saving.
We have put a lot of thoughts into the design and packaging of our seed packets. Our seeds are all carefully packed in food grade kraft paper/aluminium zipper lock bags, and then are shipped in eco-friendly padded mailers.
We heat-seal each of our seed packet for even more protection from moisture, odour and light, allowing you to store your seeds for up to 3x longer than paper or plastic. Plant them all, germinate some indoors, save some for next season - it’s up to you!
Just planted the ornamental corn, excited...
Just planted the ornamental corn, excited to see it come up