Where Can I Get Black Corn Seeds?
Black corn is a relative newcomer to the world of organic gardening, having been bred in the USA and exported all over Europe in the early 1980s. The seeds originally came from two varieties of corn, namely maize (corn) and emporium (seeded tubers). The corn was bred to improve the yield of the main crop it is used for, thus making it more drought resistant than its neighbour corn. However, unlike most types of corn, black corn is not widely marketed in the United States (although it is available here in the form of corn flakes instead of seeds).
This is an excellent choice if you are starting out with your organic garden. Corn is very hardy and grows quite well in many different soils - however, it does best in soils that are slightly acidic. Some black corn hybrids are acidic to levels that may even be toxic to plants! It is therefore important to add soil acidifiers to compensate for this. If you are leery of the safety of black corn seeds, do note that most corn varieties are safe to eat even if they have been introduced into the United States with some level of genetic modification.
The corn is a late comer to the world of organic farming, being produced as a biotechnology crop. The corn variety is actually part of a large family of crops known as alfalfa. This means that, like all members of this family, it is part of a larger agricultural niche which is known as "the niche". The corn niche is very large and is composed of a huge range of crops - there are more alfalfa varieties grown in the United States than there are coffee varieties, and there are almost as many varieties of potatoes (including black potatoes) grown in the United States as there are varieties of alfalfa. Thus, in addition to providing food, these crops are used for a variety of reasons.
In growing black corn, the seed is usually sown in moist soil - just like with other types of corn. This allows the corn to develop quickly under the right conditions. Just as with most other crops, it's best to grow corn in an area that gets at least 6 hours of bright sunlight. Corn is not a crop that will do well under a shade. However, in areas where it is grown, it can still flourish - provided you give it the proper nutrients. So, it's important to get your corn from a good, healthy location.
One of the key elements of growing black corn is watering. If you follow the guidelines laid out by your seed provider, you should get an adequate amount of water. Do take note that your seeds may be slightly damp when you plant them, but this is not always the case. Often times, seed corn distributors will oversow the appropriate amount of water to get the plants started and will then water them down during the season.
To encourage pollination, it's a good idea to place black corn on a shaded area - that way, they will be exposed to enough sun to generate seeds. Sunlight is one of the most important factors in helping corn seeds germinate. Make sure that there is plenty of light, however - too much can dry the plants out, which will prevent them from producing any seeds at all. It's also a good idea to keep the seed corn moist when you are ready to harvest. If the seed corn gets too wet, it can dry out and turn black. This is why it's important to move the corn to an area with a lot of sunshine - if the seed corn is kept too wet, it can dry out and turn black.
It's also important to note that black corn is different from other types of corn. While most seeds are created with similar proteins (including corn), black corn has been treated with enzymes to spur development. Some seeds have been treated with a growth inhibitor (which is good, if you want the black color of the seed). This treatment can also help the seeds resist bugs and other pests. You don't want to harvest black corn unless you're going to make it into a cereal - otherwise, it's okay to harvest the seeds.
As with other types of seeds, it's important to carefully read the package when buying black corn seeds. Look for a label that says "ultraviolet treated with Boric acid." Boric acid is an herbicide that's mixed with water. The seeds are exposed to the herbicide for a brief period of time, and when the protection wears off, the seeds germinate and grow into black corn. Just be careful not to get the seeds on your clothes or skin! Once you've got black corn seeds, be prepared to harvest them - and the next year, store those good seeds for better garden seeds next time!