About South American Yellow Corn: According to evidence found by archaeologists on the northern coast of Peru, popcorn was a staple in the ancient civilizations of South America. Popcorn also grew above the border, and it once occupied a space in nearly every American garden. At the beginning of the twentieth century, 52 varieties of popcorn were offered by the seed catalogs of the time.
South American Yellow Corn Germination: Prepare the soil with compost or other organic matter. One week after frost or when the soil consistently reaches 60 degrees F, plant the corn 1" deep and 8-12" apart. Planting blocks of four short rows ensures good pollination. Germination should take place in 5-6 days. For companion planting benefits, plant corn with cucumbers, peas, or pole beans; plants that like shade also do well with corn. Avoid planting tomatoes near corn.
Growing South American Yellow Corn Seeds: After the corn emerges, keep it moist and carefully remove weeds; since corn cannot fight against weeds, mulch may be beneficial. Additional organic matter or compost helps growth, since corn is a heavy feeder. Keep in mind that corn has shallow roots which can easily become damaged by hoeing. Watch out for pests, as corn attracts many problematic insects and animals.
Harvesting South American Yellow Corn: Leaving the corn on its stalks to completely dry in the field gives the best results; when they are ready to harvest, the stalk and the ears will be completely brown with no green coloring at all. However, since continued rainy weather and humidity compromise the quality of the ears, it may be necessary to continue drying them inside. Choose a dry location with moderate heat, but out of direct sunlight; hang the stalks upside down, or lay them out flat.
Saving South American Yellow Corn Seeds: Since corn cross-pollinates quite easily with other varieties, seed plants will need to be separated from other pollinating varieties of corn by about 1,000 feet or otherwise prevented from pollinating each other. Allow the seed corn to dry completely on the stalk, until the husk and the stalk have turned brown. If rainy weather comes, cut off the stalks and lay them out in a dry, well ventilated location. Test for dryness by hitting the kernels with a hammer; if they shatter, they are ready for storage. Remove the kernels by running your hands over the cobs; winnow out the chaff. Store seeds in a cool, dry place.
Detailed South American Yellow Corn Info: Zea mays. Also known as Dynamite. Annual. 110 days. 170 seeds per oz. 60-72" plant height. 4-6" spacing. Produces 6-9" ears with yellow kernels for popping.