Paisley Plant of the Week: Bonus Corn

Paisley Plant of the Week: Bonus Corn

This plant is so paisley…it’s dripping paisley!


Sounds boring, right? Not so!

Bonus Corn!

Bonus corn is a hybrid that produces those little corns that are so delicious in stir-fry. Each ear is 4-6 inches long and the entire ear is edible, no need to slice it off of the cob. My wise son just told me to tell you, you do still have to peel it. He was worried you might try to eat it peel and all. Thanks Jonners.

Growing Bonus corn is also fun. It emerges quickly. I chit mine, but it probably isn’t necessary. I just got in the habit of doing the corn along with my beans and peas. It may give me a little jump on my seeds, I dunno.

Bonus corn grows to a height of 5′. Here’s something different (and paisley) about Bonus corn, each stalk produces 4-5 ears! That’s cool. I also grow Country Gentleman, a standard shoepeg variety, you only get one ear per stalk with that. So 4-5 little ears are super cool, and paisley!

Mound with my handy dandy shipping box method.

I make a mound, this year I used a shipping box with the bottom removed, filled it and packed it, planted and

moved on to the next mound. Using the Three Sisters method, I put beans on either side of my stalks and squash around the edges of the mounds.

True Three Sisters calls for four bean plants around the corn stalk. I only flanked them left and right. I plan to put some bean tee pees in the same plot at a later date. I want more Asian Winged beans this year. Here is a great article from Mother Earth News about Asian Winged Beans.

Bonus corn. Peel the ear, eat the cob.

After the Parsnip got finished planting three blocks I had a disturbing revelation. I had intended to plant 3 sections of hot peppers at the end of this bed. Now that would not be a problem except that when I made my plan, it had not included the Three Sisters. The disturbing revelation is that the squash is going to want the whole bed, but I need some of it for my peppers.

My current plan is to run a line of fencing across the width of the bed, let the squash bunch up to the fence on the far side, and plant maybe three tomatoes on the near side of the fence. I run the risk of my tomatoes getting a little spicy from the peppers, but I think it will solve my squash sprawl problem.

If anyone has any other ideas, I’m open for suggestions. I think I have about 4 or 5 days until my peppers are going to demand to be planted. Mind you, I need to keep my hot peppers and my sweet peppers segregated. They don’t play well together. At the current time, the plan is for the sweet peppers to be in the back beds with the tomatoes, and the hot peppers in one of the front beds.

Sweet Dumplin' Squash seeds! Ready to plant!

If I had the money, I would just buy 20 pots and grow the hot peppers in containers. Hmmm. That would give me room for more Bonus corn. I think I’ll run that by the Parsnip. It can’t hurt to ask.

If the dollar store has something I could use for pots, that would be cheaper than fencing. Right? Oh, but I have to have fencing for that other project, so I wouldn’t actually save on that. But, the Parsnip wouldn’t have to clear that lot or run fence, which would make him a happy Parsnip. Thanks for letting me bounce that off of you. You’re a good listener.

Corn is super fun to grow. After the Bonus Corn is gone (45-60 days) I’ll replace it with my standard Country Gentleman shoepeg. This is a white, sweet, juicy, delicious corn that is really lovely. It’s a bit more standard than paisley. Because it only produces one ear per stalk, we only get it for a meal once or sometimes twice a summer if I’ve been a good girl and planted a successive crop.

A nice break from the house side of the woods.

It’s worth it to me to grow because it, along with a rather large stand of sunflowers, it blocks the woods from the house side of the yard. This discourages people walking from the highway from using my yard as a cut through to the lake. (I don’t know why the poison ivy and oak and sumac don’t discourage this practice, I can only surmise that they don’t know about these other hazards…but they will soon enough)

My husband insists that I make my yard look too inviting, what with lawn games and fairy lights, cheerful flowers and neat rows of paisley plants popping up everywhere. I dunno, I just don’t like an excessive amount of traipsing. I have kids and animals being raised here. Traipse somewhere else please. = ) Admire from a respectable distance. And, while you’re at it, throw your trash in a proper disposal container. Wow, I almost started ranting there. No more coffee for me.

I hope you’ll give Bonus Corn a try. It’s super fun, and super delicious. I get my seed from Kitazawa Seed Co. which is also where I get my Green Meat and Early Mino radish seeds. I’m thinking about growing Black Sesame seeds. If anyone has grown sesame seeds, please let me know if there is anything I need to know. You can leave a message in comments, or email me at

An extra paisley thank you to Gettin’ Fresh for the shout out on the Things We Like page. If  you haven’t checked out this site, you should! It has great ideas for foraging, eating fresh and healthy. I’m a tentative forager but I’m getting a little bolder all the time. The article on Mouse Ear Chickweed started a craze in my house. My oldest son and I discovered that we love it in salads. So check out Gettin’ Fresh if you get a minute. It’s very paisley.

Have a super Paisley rest of the weekend! ~KeriAnne



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