This year for the first time I decided to grow some maize using the organic “Farming Gods Way” method, see here for details: http://www.farming-gods-way.org/home.htm
It was not difficult to prepare the field – I did it myself which means it can’t have been too hard! No ploughing, no burning, just lots of composting and mulch. Two thirds of the area were given to maize and one third to beans which will be rotated through the plot each year.
Many people commented how tall the maize was and how big the cobs are. The harvest was good, and I’m hoping that as the years go by and the soil improves, that they’ll get better and better.
However, there were some issues that I’d like to identify to help me grow better next time. UPDATE FROM “NEXT TIME” 2017. I had NONE of these problems this year! I guess the soil has improved, it’s in a healthier state, so the plants were healthier too. WOW!
1: Black insects
These small bugs were inside some of the cobs but didn’t seem to do too much damage. Not sure if they caused the damage to the cob on the right or if they just happened to be there when I opened it.
2 Missing kernels
After a bit of a google I read that each kernel has its own silk that needs to be fertilised for the kernels to grow so that missing kernels could be a sign of non pollination.
3 Maize stalk borer – the biggie!
This is the biggie problem that causes terrible damage. I’m grateful to the folks at Farming Gods Way for identifying it for me. Now that I’ve harvested I’ll burn the affected stalks, and as I continue to rotate the field, that should help keep it down too.
These cobs are missing kernels from the top and the husk is peeled down – I think this is bird damage.
5 Crooked rows
No idea if this is a problem or not! But the kernels did not grow in the usual straight rows, but a big zig zag.
6 Pale maize
Also not sure what this is caused by – the kernels look pale, are they perhaps unripe? Or damaged? Not sure.
Thanks for any comments and insights!
Looking forward to learning and doing even better next year.