If you love popcorn and always wondering what it takes to grow them at home, then worry less! Keep reading this post. The good news is, you don’t have to stay within a corn belt to grow popcorn. All you have to do is finding proper seeds, patience (lots of patience), and favorable conditions.

Home-grown popcorn are sweet and take the extra effort to produce them. Here is the procedure:

  1. Buy Fertile Popcorn Seeds

You can use some plain popcorn from a packet, but you’ll first perform some fertility tests. Not all bought popcorn seeds are fertile as the sterilization and heating process while packing them can lower their fertility. Also, you can source popcorn seeds from a farmer.

However, if you want to test the fertility of store-bought popcorn, sow about 20 seeds, water them then wait. When they grow in a week, you will know that they are fertile. If a fortnight pass and you still don’t see sprouts coming out, then the seeds aren’t fertile.

  1. Soak The Popcorn Kernels For 12 Hours In The Water

Doing this moistens the seeds to help them germinate faster.

  1. Select the Best Spot to Plant Them

Ensure that the position in which you will be growing the popcorn has soil that drains quickly and receives plenty of sunlight throughout. You must have an adequate space to plant the corns.

Furthermore, never plant within 100 feet of other kinds of corn as you might result in cross-pollination. This will lead to hybrids and can change the flavor of the popcorn.

  1. Make Sure You Plant the Kernels Immediately After Frost Danger Has Passed

This will depend on your locality. Frost is majorly experienced in early march to mid-May. Ensure that the soils where you will be growing the popcorn vary between 50 to 55 degrees Celsius. With this, expect the popcorn to start emerging out in 3 days.

As you plant the seeds, give them an eight to 10 inches spacing apart. When planting them in rows, do the row spacing 18 to 24 inches apart. Add only two seeds on each hole as only 75% of the seeds will germinate.

  1. Water Them Occasionally Then Apply Nitrogenous Fertilizer

Popcorn is always a thirsty plant that needs approximately 2 inches of water every week to grow ideally. Water them until they are ready to be harvested. This takes about 100 days. Spread the fertilizer between rows then water it properly to make it penetrate in the soil. You don’t have to fertilize the popcorns occasionally.

Here’s how to use fertilizer:

  • Immediately the popcorn is about a knee-height or produces ten leaves, use about ½ pound in every 100 square feet.
  • Once the ears develop silk, use a ¼ pound of fertilizer in every 100 square feet
  • Top up more fertilizer when the leaves turn pale or yellow more so after they get silk.
  1. Check On the Weeds

Weeds are harmful and can damage the popcorn by using all the nutrients and water that the corns need for survival. Cultivate on the soil around the corn to get rid of weeds and be careful not to cut their roots.

Keep Off the Crows

You must be alert once the corn starts sprouting —or before.

Here’s what to do to keep the feathered crows away from the corns.

  • Construct a scarecrow
  • Position a chicken wire tunnel on each seedlings row,
  • Develop mulches around the corns. Once the seedlings come up, the crows will get bored with them.
  • Give The Stalks a Nice Support as you wait for the harvest.

Once the stalks start growing, you must give them enough support. Gather enough soil on their bases to support them and help them stand. The popcorns take about 120 days depending on the time you planted them, species, and the planting mechanism. Some species ripe faster than others.

Once the corns are ready, allow them to dry on their stalks. If you live in a rainy area, harvest the corns then take them in your store to finish drying.

How to Grow Popcorn Shoots

  • Materials
  • Fresh popcorn less than three years old, not microwavable type and not popped
  • Potting soil
  • Flat casserole
  • Kitchen shears
  • Water
  • Pre-Soak The Popcorn Seeds

If you want a perfect germination rate, start by pre-soaking the seeds for three days. Place about 3 cups of popcorn seeds on a dish then cover them adequately with water. Position the container in a cold place or place inside the fridge for 72 hours.

  • Check Whether The Seeds Are Sprout

Immediately you see root nub sprouting in many popcorn seeds, and this indicates that they are ready for planting.

  • Plant the Seeds

Begin by discarding or pouring off the soaking water. Empty four seed cups then mix it on a large mixing bowl. Top up enough water to the mixture to make it feel dampened. Add enough seed starting mix on a casserole dish to cover up to the bottom part of the dish approximately one inch deep.

Carefully smooth out the mix then spread the pre-sprouted popcorn on moistened seed starting mix then gently press the seeds on the mix. The seeds must be on top of the mix but don’t overcrowd them.

After that, cover the newly planted seeds using a transparent cover that’s provided with the casserole container. Adding a lid provides a moist and steady environment best for sprouting seeds. An excellent option for blanched shoots is covering the lid using a cloth. Some people prefer blanched yellow shoots.

  • Maintenance

Place all the popcorn on a brightly lit window then wait for some time. Frequently check on the container to make sure that the seeds are moist. If possible, water all the shoots using freshwater, and if you see mold developing, make sure you keep the lid off for 24 hours. This makes the seed starting mix surface to dry for a while.

In case your house stays dry throughout the winter season, mold should never be an issue. When you don’t fit the lid tightly on the container, the shoots can lift the lid as the popcorn grow. This will take approximately 14 days to do your harvesting. The shoots are 4 inches long when they are ready for harvest.

  • Harvest

If you want to harvest the shoots, just cut each shoot on the lower side on the stalk. Immediately you pick them if you aren’t using the shoots immediately, dry all water from the shoots then wrap the shoots before you place them on a vegetable crisper or a container.

Enjoy the crisp fresh greens.

Can I grow my own popcorn?

Growing your own popcorn is really no different than growing regular sweet corn. Plant and grow these seeds in your garden as you would any other kind of corn, allow the ears to fully mature, and wait to harvest until the husks turn brown. You can always switch to popcorn next year.

Can you grow popcorn from popcorn kernels?

It is possible to grow plants from the kernels you get for making popcorn, but remember this is a corn that isn’t any good as sweet corn. it it very starchy and not sweet. it would only be good to use for more popcorn. Here is a quick tutorial on germinating the seed.

What kind of corn is used to grow popcorn?

As it turns out, the corn that we typically eat is different than the kernels that become popcorn. There’s only one variety of maize that will make it – Zea mays everta. Though it looks like a typical corn kernel, this particular variety is the only one that has the ability to pop and turn into a delicious snack.

Can you plant popcorn seeds from the grocery store?

There is nothing magical about popcorn seeds packaged for gardening (Zea mays everta). It is the same seed as the kind put in bags or jars and sold as a snack on grocery shelves. Popcorn grows well in U.S. Department of Agriculture hardiness zones 4 to 11, so it can fit into the backyard gardens in most of the country.

Should you soak popcorn seeds before planting?

When it comes to planting sweet corn (Zea mays) don’t jump the gun. Planting too early, in cold, wet soil, results in seed that rots before it can sprout. For the best germination rates, wait until the soil temperature is at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit, and soak the corn in water before planting.

Can you grow rice from store bought rice?

It may be possible to grow rice from grocery store rice, if it’s fresh enough. Look for organically grown long grain brown rice; many home gardeners find the organic brown rice tends to sprout more than conventional varieties of long grain brown rice from the grocery store.

What does Rice look like when it is growing?

According to the FAO, the grains should be full but not breaking, with yellow hulls, and the stalks of the plant should be slightly bent. It could take anywhere from three to six months for rice to reach this stage. To harvest rice, farmers drain, cut and dry.

How much rice do you get from one plant?

The number of grains per panicle is determined by variety and stand density. Most California varieties commonly produce 70 – 100 grains per panicle; the higher the plant density the lower the number of grains per panicle.

Can Rice be grown at home?

It is possible to grow rice at home, but you need to be realistic in your expectations—you won’t be able to harvest enough rice for more than a meal or two even if things go well. Because growing rice requires a long, warm growing season of 160 to 180 days, much more than any other garden crop.

Is Rice easy to grow?

Planting rice is easy; getting it to grow through harvest is challenging. Ideally, you need at least 40 continuous days of warm temps over 70 F. Next, either purchase rice seed from a gardening supplier or buy long grain brown rice from a bulk foods store or in a bag.

Where does rice grow best?

Rice originates in tropical lowlands and requires a long, warm growing season but is cultivated commercially in California and some of the Southeastern states. It thrives in USDA hardiness zones 9b through 10a. It can be grown wherever nighttime temperatures stay above 60 degrees for at least three months of the year.

Does Rice need lots of water to grow?

Roots also need to take up water from the soil to support plant growth. Rice is a crop that can flourish in flooded soils, whereas many other plants will die, so flooding of rice paddies is an important way to control weeds in rice fields.

In which type of soil is rice grown?

Soils with good water retention capacity with high amount of clay and organic matter are ideal for rice cultivation. Clay or clay loams are most suited for rice cultivation. Such soils are capable of holding water for long and sustain crop. Rice being a semi-aquatic crop, grows best under sub-merge conditions.

In which state rice does not grow?

Rice Production by State
States Rank (2014–15) Average Production (2010-11 to 2014-15)
India 105.48
West Bengal 1 14.54
Uttar Pradesh 2 13.45
Punjab 3 11.03

Does Rice need sunlight?

Growing Requirements

An area that gets full sun, a minimum of 6 to 8 hours of sunlight per day, is required to grow rice.

What climate is best for Rice?

Rice crop needs a hot and humid climate. It is best suited to regions which have high humidity, prolonged sunshine and an assured supply of water. The average temperature required throughout the life period of the crop ranges from 21 to 37º C.

Does rice grow in shade?

The duration of rice (short/medium/long) that is best suited for growing in shade i.e. at low R/FR, (ii). The seedling or mature plant phenotype that could be taken as the characteristic for obtaining low R/FR tolerance in field condition, (iii).

What crop needs the least amount of water?

These include cool-season legumes such as peas, lentils and fava beans, and the crucifer crops: Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, broccoli, turnips and watercress. Sweet corn and lettuce are shallow-rooted and don’t do well without a lot of water.