Popcorn is a grab-n-go treat
If you accept a vegetable garden, or alike a ample container, you may appetite to accede growing a fun crop that apparently isn’t alike on your agronomical radar: popcorn. Yep, that’s right, popcorn!
Backyard gardeners may not apprehend that airheaded is absolutely accessible to grow, if you chase aloof a few guidelines.
Popcorn is not the aforementioned as candied blah or acreage corn. Instead, it’s a appropriate blazon of blah that was called by Native Americans for its adamantine exoteric and civil center. Back acrimonious to about 400 degrees F, beef builds up central the atom and causes it to explode, accretion the civil centermost into the white breath we apperceive as popcorn.
Like added types of corn, airheaded is wind pollinated, so in adjustment for the kernels to absolutely form, you charge to accept affluence of plants. Otherwise, there won’t be abundant pollen in the air to absolutely blend anniversary ear.
There are abounding altered varieties of popcorn, anniversary of which has its own different flavor. “Strawberry” forms plump, broad aerial of aphotic red kernels. The plants are aloof 4 anxiety tall, so this array is abundant for home gardens. Added short-statured airheaded varieties absolute for home breadth accommodate “Tom Thumb,” “Mini Blue” and “Dakota Black.”
Seeds should be sown anon into the arena in backward May, afterwards the crisis of frost has passed. Be abiding to accumulate your airheaded application weed-free and well-watered throughout the growing season. Fertilize the clay above-mentioned to burying with a balanced, amoebic diminutive fertilizer.
To ensure acceptable pollination, bulb seeds 3 inches afar in blocks of at atomic 20 to 30 seeds. The added plants you can abound the better, as pollination ante advance back there is added pollen in the air. Anniversary bulb will aftermath amid two and four ears, depending on the variety.
The ambush to growing airheaded absolutely comes at autumn time. The kernels charge be best back their damp akin is aloof right. Allow the cobs to dry on the plants for as continued as possible. Picking too aboriginal agency there will be too abundant damp in the kernels and they won’t pop. Picking too backward agency the kernels could not accept abundant baptize in them, afresh causing them to not pop. At autumn time the kernels should be actual adamantine and the crust should be amber and absolutely dry.
Once picked, abolish the bark from the cobs and abode the cobs in an onion bag. Hang the bag in a warm, dry breadth for about two weeks. Pop a few kernels in some hot oil. If they breath up nicely, the blah is dried. If their arrangement is tough, or they don’t pop correctly, they charge to dry a bit longer. Test them afresh in addition week.
When your airheaded kernels pop nicely, abundance the accomplished cobs in a bankrupt artificial or bottle container, abroad from sunlight and temperature extremes.
To pop acquaintance popcorn, put a accomplished cob in a ample cardboard bag and cycle the top bankrupt loosely. Microwave for one to two minutes, or until a additional or two passes amid pops. Alternatively, you can scrape the kernels off the cobs and pop the kernels in a pan with a tablespoon of hot vegetable oil.
Add adulate and salt, if you’d like, and adore your acquaintance popcorn.
Horticulturist Jessica Walliser co-hosts “The Amoebic Gardeners” at 7 a.m. Sundays on KDKA Radio with Doug Oster. Send your agronomical or agriculture questions to email@example.com
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