How to Grow Popcorn

Popcorn is a fun experiment in the garden and homegrown popcorn pops faster and has a fresher taste than store bought. And depending on how you grow it, it will be chemical free. homemade popcorn
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Popcorn is fairly easy to grow. Just make sure you get popcorn seeds. It is different from regular corn seeds. It will be clearly marked on the seed packet. You can also check for popcorns  horticultural name: Zea praecox.

When planting your popcorn choose a location with rich soil and that drains well. Popcorn needs a fertile soil to produce large crops. Your popcorn will need to be planted 10 inches apart and at least 18 inches apart for the next row. Follow the instructions for planting on the seed package for how deep to place the seed.

For a successful popcorn crop you need to make sure you have the popcorn crop set out in a block form. Corn needs to pollinate by a breeze so planting in block form or at least 4 rows deep. This will insure good crop pollination.popcorn in our garden

Creative Commons License photo credit: Chris Radcliff

If you have limited growing space or like more adventure – grow your popcorn in 2 bushel baskets. It’s fun, easy and has a great look! It also adds to your Halloween décor! I would also add a few baby pumpkins and miniature gourds for color.

Popcorn Growing Tip:

Its important to keep corn crops separated so if you are growing regular corn, grow them on opposite sides of the garden or yard.


It’s time to harvest your popcorn when the silks turn brown. To harvest your popcorn, pull or cut the cob of the main plant. Then dry the kernels on the cob for another week or two. I tie the popcorn up in groups of 6 to 8 ears with the husks pulled back so the air will dry the kernels and preserve the popcorn. You can remove the kernels by rubbing them loose with your thumb or grate one cob against the other to loosen the kernels.

I store the popcorn in glass jars in the cupboard. Glass jars keep moisture away from the kernels so that they will last longer.

Our family grew popcorn for many years. We even sold corn and pumpkins in the fall. I have many memories from those days.

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