Making the Maize Mazes
Ploughing and Drilling
In April the land at Elton Farm is ploughed and made into a seed bed & the Maize seeds are drilled with a precision drill. Each row is 0.75 m apart. The crop is drilled in two directions, North - South and East - West so that the rows are at right angles to each other, which creates a grid effect.
The design of the maze
A Maze design is drawn out on graph paper. Each square on the graph paper represents a 6 m square on the field. Because the crop is drilled in rows 0.75 m apart we know that each 6 metre square has 8 rows of Maize across and up and down. Pegs are then placed in the crop in 6 metre squares. By referring to the design on the graph paper we know which of the 8 rows in each 6 m square that needs to be removed to create the Maze paths.
Above: England rugby star Phil Vickery lends a hand with the hoeing-out of our 2005 Super Space Mazes.
Hoeing out the paths
It takes 5 people 5 days to hoe out the Maze paths. We hoe in June when the plants are about 30 cm high. By 1 July the plants have grown to waist height and by mid July to head height. We then trim the sides of the Paths. The plants flower in early August and then produce their cobs. The variety of Maize grown is for cattle feed. These cobs are starchy and are not pleasant to eat. We grow Sweet Corn for sale.
Harvesting the maize
The maize crop is harvested in October and fed to cattle over the winter. The field remains fallow over the winter and is replanted the following Spring.