Corn has long become a familiar crop that is planted for various purposes. Corn seeds are bought in specialized stores or harvested on their own. The future harvest directly depends on the correct collection and storage of planting material.
Which seeds should you choose?
Having found the ideal corn variety that is suitable for the climatic conditions of growing and gives a stable yield, it is imperative to prepare planting material for planting next year. This will ensure next year's yield. Saving seeds is very simple, you just need to adhere to simple rules.
When planting corn, keep in mind that the crop is a cross-pollinated crop. This means that for the purity of preserving the variety, the plant is not recommended to be planted next to other crops, especially forage crops. This is to ensure that the two types of crops do not accidentally pollinate. If this happens, then the likelihood of deterioration in varietal qualities is high.
Hybrid seeds of any kind of corn cannot be used for harvesting planting material. Usually, belonging to hybrids is indicated on the seed packaging with the F1 marking. These seeds can sprout and sprout, but they are unlikely to be as large as the previous year.
During the cultivation of an agricultural crop, you must follow the simple rules of agricultural technology. It is important to regularly make mineral and organic fertilizing, prepare seeds and soil for planting in advance. This will ensure high yields.
In the first months after the shoots begin to sprout, they need to be paid more attention. Inspect periodically and treat with herbicides at the first signs of damage.
By observing these rules, it will be possible to collect corn seeds for future plantings. If you use planting material from the largest ears, you will be able to grow a good harvest next year.
Corn seeds should only be harvested from the healthiest ears. To collect grains for a summer cottage, you will need only two cobs. Although one is enough, the second is needed as a safety net. It is recommended to use the cobs located closer to the top of the plant. The rest of the ovaries are removed so that they do not consume nutrients.
The best varieties for planting
Before going to the store and buying corn planting material, it is important to study the description of the selected varieties. If hybrids were purchased, then it will not be possible to use the seeds for subsequent plantings. This factor should be taken into account. The best varieties for planting are:
- Anasta is a hybrid that belongs to varieties with a medium early ripening of the ears. Ripening period is from 90 to 95 days after planting. Due to its resistance to low temperatures, planting begins in early spring. It is not adapted to high temperatures, so the hybrid is not planted in the southern regions. The yield is stable.
- Clarica is a mid-season variety, the ripening period of the crop is 90 days after sowing. The main characteristic is adaptability to high temperatures. Therefore, Clarica is often planted several times in one season. Bushes of medium height, powerful rhizome. The best place for cultivation is considered to be the forest-steppe and steppe terrain.
- Sterling is considered one of the most common maize feed varieties. The height of the plant reaches an average of 2.5 m. The bushes are highly leafy, for which Sterling is valued in agriculture. Differs in resistance to spider mites, powdery mildew, olive spot and other crop diseases. For active growth, fertilizing with nitrogen-containing fertilizers is necessary.
- Dnipropetrovsk 247 MV - a hybrid that is most resistant to lodging. The stems reach a height of 3 m, the yield is high. Plantings tolerate a sharp drop in temperature and prolonged cold weather.
- Partisan - the height of the stem reaches 2 m. The stems and leaves contain a large amount of starch and fats. Due to its high nutritional value and high content of juices in the deciduous mass, it is especially appreciated among livestock breeders.
- Pioneer F1 is a hybrid characterized by a short maturation period of the ears. Used for harvesting grains and for feeding animals. The root system is powerful, the stem is thick. The hybrid is distinguished by its ability to withstand adverse climatic conditions.
- Pioneer - the previous hybrid was developed on the basis of this variety. Grown for harvesting grains and as livestock feed. The vegetative ripening period is approximately 100 days. Tolerates lower temperatures and cold summers. The yield is stable. It is grown mainly in the northern regions. When cultivated in the south, plants require a lot of water.
The variety of corn for planting is chosen depending on the purpose of growing the crop.
Signs of seed ripening
Before picking the seeds, you need to make sure that they are ripe. If the ears are harvested at the stage of milk maturity for food, then for sowing it is necessary to wait for the biological maturity of the grains. This can be understood by a number of signs:
- The stems and branches should be completely dry and yellow. Drying of the stems begins in late August - early September. If by this time the bushes are still green, you need to wait a few more weeks until they begin to dry out.
- Ripe kernels on the cob are hard to the touch. From a light yellow hue, they become yellow-orange.
- If you cook overripe ears, it tastes very tough, even with prolonged cooking.
The presence of all these signs suggests that the seeds can be harvested. Depending on the region of cultivation, the collection time is shifted by several weeks.
Collecting corn seeds
The success of storage and future planting depends on the correct collection of corn seeds. You need to collect seeds only in dry, sunny weather so that the cobs are dried. They are broken off or cut off with secateurs. Then they are transferred to a warm and dry room to ripen.
They are left in this form for a month. You can store the cobs at this time in the basement or in the cellar. Basement storage will be optimal if you create the necessary storage conditions for the ears. The cobs should be checked regularly to prevent mold and mildew from appearing on them. It is important not to allow high humidity in the cellar.
Planting material is collected mainly from the middle of the cob. At the end, the grains are not suitable for growing. And at the bottom of the cob are often deformed and underdeveloped. The grains collected from the cob are sorted out. Only healthy grains are left without damage.
How to store seeds after harvest?
After being harvested in the basement, the stored corn grains are removed after 30 days and prepared for further planting. Seeds are harvested in October-November, when the grains are completely dry and easily separated. After that, the seeds are left to dry at home at room temperature. They are scattered in an even layer on a flat surface and mixed periodically.
After a few days, the maize is scattered in paper bags and the type of corn is pointed to them so as not to get confused. Store seeds in a dry, dark place away from moisture and open sunlight. If the storage conditions are observed, the seeds will remain good and suitable for planting even after 5 years. And if the storage conditions are violated, they will become covered with mold and become unsuitable for planting the next year.