Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:49 am

Anybody actually planted and grew popcorn? I imagine popcorn seed might be hard to find, just wondered if anyone has ever tried it? Would it just grow to maturity like a field corn, and you could just shuck it off and cook it?

Re: Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 12:13 pm

I have never grown it, but as I understand, you cannot have other corn for quite a ways, or it will cross pollinate, and as a result it is not pop corn.

Re: Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:01 pm

Gets too hot down here to grow it. Well actually it will grow, it just pops right there in the cob! :-)

Re: Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:03 pm

We planted a patch using typical corn planter and cultivators when we farmed in Iowa. Picked and shucked by hand because ears were to small for the corn picker. As with ear corn we let it dry. After drying we removed kernels from the cob by hand. My opinion, not worth the effort and I don't believe we saved any money after expenses.

Thinking you need to estimate how much popcorn the family uses in a year, estimated planting and harvesting cost, then compare to the price of a pound from the grocery store.

Years ago a distant family member planted a large number of acres to popcorn on contract. Only one year.

One year Dad thought he would hid the sweet corn patch in the middle of the corn field from the raccoons. Didn't work, coons got all of the sweet corn and left the field corn alone.

Re: Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:33 pm

If you just want to plant some, we planted the popcorn in the bag at the grocery store. I guess they still sell it, the dry corn that you add to the popcorn oil and pop on the stove. That was 100 years ago. I quess you can still purchase it that way. I remember it coming up and growing but I do not remember it if made or not.

Let us know what you decide.

Re: Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 2:39 pm

Our local garden center sells it in bulk just like any other seed.

Re: Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:49 pm

We grow it every other year. It tastes way better then anything from the store. Biggest trick is to plant along ways from other types and know that it is a very long grower. When the stalks start drying out you have to watch it. It has to have a certain percent of moisture in the grains for it to pop, requires testing a teaspoon sized batch every couple days. My uncle still uses to old corn crib with his. The ears are small but the taste is great. If you have the land put in a row or so. We usually plant 5 30foot rows, last us 2 seasons that way. 2 years ago I built a couple a new house, replaced the on that burnt down. Anyway they was out planting their garden, starting telling us what they had planted, peaches and cream and popcorn side by side with in a couple weeks, problem was they planted the popcorn first. I tried to tell them to pull one or the other, they later said that was the worst peaches and cream they ever had, they can in at the same time.

Re: Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:19 pm

I used to grow it. As mentioned, isolate it from sweet corn. I grew a white hull less variety. Seed catalogs have several kinds. The popcorn in the stores, is likely a hybrid, and won't produce a duplicate of itself, if you plant that. Moisture percent has to be watched, and tested, daily. When it pops well, seal it in canning jars, to prevent further drying. Fun project, to involve kids with. Don't need to plant a lot, unless you really like popcorn. A 50 foot row, would probably keep you fed, all winter. Ed

Re: Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:36 pm

Here you go Brandon,

http://www.johnnyseeds.com/p-8285-minia ... pcorn.aspx

Re: Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:10 pm

There's even an IH seed plate stamped PopCorn! Not sure if I have one or not? I do think I have an extra 1892 or 1891 will look. Sounds like fun for the nephews and nieces up here...probably not this year. I'm set on Bodacious and Silver Queen across the street. Keep us posted! :)

Re: Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:30 pm

We grow it every year. We use mostly for decorative corn. We get some very interesting colors. I have taken the ear and all and put it in a brown lunch bag and put it in the microwave and the result was popcorn. Did it last fall, made a mess all over, but was good with a little butter and salt.

Re: Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:26 pm

ScottyD'sdad wrote:I used to grow it. As mentioned, isolate it from sweet corn. I grew a white hull less variety. Seed catalogs have several kinds. The popcorn in the stores, is likely a hybrid, and won't produce a duplicate of itself, if you plant that. Moisture percent has to be watched, and tested, daily. When it pops well, seal it in canning jars, to prevent further drying. Fun project, to involve kids with. Don't need to plant a lot, unless you really like popcorn. A 50 foot row, would probably keep you fed, all winter. Ed



I grew that variety several years ago. All I did was isolate it from the other corn--planted it 2-3 weeks later than the sweet corn in the garden and the regular field corn. I didn't know about the moisture content thing, I just shelled it and popped it as I wanted. It was delicious, maybe because I had to work for it!

Al

Re: Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:45 pm

Here are a couple of articles on growing popcorn, from the simple to the complex:
http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/2000/7-21-2000/popcorn.html
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/afcm/popcorn.html

Hope this helps.

Bill

Re: Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Wed Apr 03, 2013 6:55 am

When I was young, we grew popcorn every year. The patch was always on the other side of the garden, from the sweet corn. I don't know if it's worth messing with, or not, but it's kinda fun to grow it.

A few years back, the fella who farms the field surrounding my house planted it in corn. I watched all summer, wondering why his corn looked so poor, all the other corn fields in the area looked pretty good and it wasn't like him to have a substandard crop. One day, in Sept., while mowing along the edge of the field, I stopped and pulled off a nice ear of popcorn! Although there's a popcorn processing plant about 40 mi. away, I hadn't seen anyone local growing it. It must have not been a profitable venture for him, he hasn't done it again. It might be that his brand new Deere combine burning down in the middle of the popcorn field is a bad "popcorn" memory for him.

Re: Anybody Ever Planted PopCorn?

Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:51 am

Gary Dotson wrote:... It might be that his brand new Deere combine burning down in the middle of the popcorn field is a bad "popcorn" memory for him.


OUCH!!!!!