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Tips for Making a Corn Maze on Your Family Farm This Fall

It's that time of year when pumpkin patches and corn mazes are open to the public.  If you happen to have some land, even if it is a homestead on small acreage, it may be a good idea to start your own corn maze.  In this article I will be going over how to prepare your farm for a corn maze, how to plant the corn, corn maze decor, other games to have at your corn maze, and tips for making your corn maze stand out.  Let's get started.

How to Prepare Your Farm for a Corn Maze

Making a corn maze is no easy task.  You must prepare your field, grow the corn, decorate your farm for guests, and then list your corn maze online so that families will be able to find your corn maze.  At a quick glance, creating a corn maze may seem overwhelming and too hard.  But it can actually be very easy and even enjoyable if you follow the steps correctly to making a corn maze.  In this section, let's begin by learning how to properly prepare your farm for a corn maze.

Choose a Location

If you live on an acre of land, you probably don't have many options for where you want your corn maze to be located.  But if your farm is bigger, you will need to decide where you want the maze located.  Remember that you will need to provide a space for parking.  People will not want to walk a long distance from their car to the corn maze.  Make sure the parking area is close to where the corn maze is located.  Also make sure that the corn maze is easy to drive to, and, if possible, have it located in an area where people can easily see it from the road.

Decide How Large You Want Your Corn Maze to Be

Some corn mazes are an acre large, while others can be ten acres.  Decide how much land you want to use for your corn maze.  Even if you have ten acres of land, you may decide that you only want to use five acres or less.

Design Your Maze

Basically, designing a corn maze means that you design your field into a certain shape, such as a person, animal, or the name of somebody.  This takes time to do, but when done right it can look very creative.  You may want to even spell out the name of your farm in the corn maze.  To do this, you'll need an GPS software for corn maze design.  The GPS will help guide you so that you know where to mow the corn.

Plant Your Corn

I'll go over this step in detail later in this article.  You don't need to plant your corn in a design, but at some point you will need to mow the corn down.

List Your Corn Maze

People will not know about your corn maze unless you promote it.  There are multiple ways you can market your corn maze.  One way is to put it on social media.  Let people know that you will be opening a corn maze very soon.  Putting an ad in the newspaper about it can also be helpful.  One of the best ways to market your corn maze is to put it online.  Sites such as www.cornmaze.com and mazeplay.com are great sites to join.  When people search on the internet "local corn mazes near me", your corn maze will come up.  Besides posting about your corn maze on the internet, make sure you have signs out on your property.  A sign on your car can be helpful too.  In addition to all this, don't forget to make a website.  That way, when people see your signs or ads in the newspaper, they can go online and find out more about your corn maze.

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Grow the Corn

Obviously, in order for you to make corn maze you must first grow the corn.  This means that you'll need to plant the corn, care for the corn, and when the time comes you must harvest the corn.  Here are tips for growing corn in your field:

  1. First, you will need to make sure your soil is right for growing corn.  The soil should be loose, with a neutral pH (6.0 to 7.0).  Heavy soils prevent corn's long tap roots.  The shallow roots you will see on the soil surface are mainly there to anchor the tall plants.  Corn is a heavy feeder, requiring rich soil.  Nitrogen is especially important for corn.  An inch or two of compost or rotted manure will also work, as will feeding with fish emulsion.  Apply nitrogen fertilizer once the plants are about 8 inches tall and again when they start producing tassels.
  2. Make sure your corn field will be getting plenty of sun.  Plant the corn about 1 inch deep if you are planting them early.  But if you are planting them in the summer, which is often recommended when growing a corn maze, you will want to plant them 2 inches deep.
  3. Water regularly, especially if you notice the leaves curling and when the cobs begin to swell.  It's better to water deeply once a week, rather than providing a little water daily.  Try to keep the area free of weeds.  Because your corn maze is going to be large, you may need to spray your field with a herbicide.
  4. You'll need to watch out for pests that could damage your corn.  There are many different methods for preventing pests from damaging your crops.  You can spray your corn, which is the most popular method of getting rid of pests.  If your field isn't too large, you can go out into your field and tie a rubber band around the tip of the husks to prevent earworms from damaging the corn.  Lastly, to prevent birds from getting to your corn you may want to put a scarecrow out.
  5. At some point, you'll need to mow through your corn to create a path.  If you have chosen a design, mow the corn so that the paths make a certain shape.
  6. When the time comes for the corn to be harvested, you'll want to make sure the corn is ripe.  This can be done by checking to see if the kernels have a milky liquid.  If so, you can harvest your corn.  Depending on when you planted the corn, you can decide if you want the corn to stay on the stalks while your corn maze is open.  Or you could harvest the corn before you open up your corn maze.
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Corn Maze Decor

There are so many different corn maze themes that you can use.  Perhaps you want your corn maze to be a Halloween corn maze.  Or maybe you want it to simply be decorated with fall decor.  Here is a list of some ideas for decorating your corn maze:

  • Use pumpkins to decorate your yard.  At the entrance of the corn maze, have a few pumpkins stacked up on each other.
  • Scarecrows make great decorations too.   Try putting a scarecrow at the entrance of the corn maze, and then some inside the corn maze.
  • Hay bales can be fun to decorate with.  You can decide where you want to place the hay bales.
  • If you have a food table, put a cute fall tablecloth on it, and then decorate with some mini pumpkins.
  • Signs can not only let people know where your corn maze is located, but they can also be a cute decoration.  Signs that say things like, "Maze in the maize" are always cute, as are signs that have pumpkins with smile faces.
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Other Games to Include at Your Corn Maze

Although the corn maze is going to be the main event at your farm, other activities can be fun to have.  There are many different games and activities that will not only be fun for families to play, but will also help you make extra profit.  Here are some other games that you may want to consider including at your corn maze.

  • Hay rides - Hayrides can be a fun activity for families.  You could either have the hayride go around your property, or you could have it go to a pumpkin patch.  That leads us to the next popular activity that you would find at most corn mazes.
  • Pumpkin patch - Getting to pick your own pumpkin is something not everybody gets to do.  By planting a pumpkin patch on your farm, you will be able to make extra profit, as well as attract more people to your farm.
  • Hay maze - A corn maze isn't the only maze that you can have on your farm.  A hay maze is where you stack hay bales in such a way that it is like a maze.
  • Food - No, this is not a game, but it will be much more fun for families if you provide food at your corn maze.
  • Face painting - Hire someone to come paint pumpkins and scarecrows on kids faces.
  • Photo props - Photo props provide a place for families to take pictures to remember this fun day.
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How to Make Your Corn Maze Stand Out from the Rest

There are so many different corn mazes in the country.  If you take a look on the internet, you will find a large handful of corn mazes that look fun and welcoming to families.  The Bergmann corn maze, Wichita pumpkin patch, Applejack pumpkin patch, Gaeddert corn maze, and Livermore corn maze are just a few popular corn mazes.  With so many pumpkin patch and corn maze options on the internet, how do you make families choose your corn maze?  Here are some tips for making your corn maze stand out from the rest.

  • Provide other fun games.  By providing other fun games, families will be attracted to your corn maze and will be ready for a full day of fun.  Some people may come to your corn maze only because they were interested in one of your activities.  For example, they may come to pick a pumpkin from your pumpkin patch rather than to walk through your corn maze.
  • Make your corn maze challenging each year.  Each year, don't make the corn maze the exact same.  Make it have different paths each year.  This will make it more challenging for people, which is what many people want.
  • Don't make the price too expensive.  If the prices are too expensive, people won't want to come.  Consider making deals, such as kids under 12 years of age are free.
  • Tell people about your corn maze.  Like I've already mentioned, market your corn maze so that people know about it.  Not only will people know about it, but if a lot of people start coming to your corn maze your farm will become a popular choice.
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Final Thoughts

If you happen to have a large amount of land, why not put that land to good use and start a corn maze?  Not only does it provide hours of fun for families, but you can also make a lot of money. In this article, I went over the basics of starting your own corn maze.  You'll need to plant the corn, prepare your field for it, design your field, decorate your farm, and provide other fun games and activities.  I also gave some tips for making your corn maze stand out from the rest.  Have fun making your corn maze!

Mariann Foster

I am one of our content writers for Everything Backyard. I am a mother and business owner of Big Horn Mountain Alpacas in Wyoming. I love farm life, cutting my own firewood in the mountains, and participating in local trail run races.

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