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Is it true?

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Is it true?

Post  jenjehle on 5/26/2010, 10:30 am

Somewhere I read that one plant/stalk of corn will only produce ONE EAR of corn. Is this true?

I was going to try corn this year for the first time but am hesitant to use up that much space for one ear per plant. I have a family of SEVEN so I would need a lot of corn plants to provide enough for even one meal!!



So what's the scoop?
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Re: Is it true?

Post  boffer on 5/26/2010, 10:44 am

Like a lot of gardening questions, the answer is: "It depends!"

It depends on the variety you grow, and the weather, and the soil richness.

Older, long season strains typically grew one per stalk. Two, if conditions were favorable. It's my understanding that the newer short season strains grow multiple ears.

I grow the same mid-season variety every year. About half the stalks will give me 2 ears, in a good year. I grow my corn in an 8x25 raised bed. Corn really isn't an efficient use of space in a sfg box. I wouldn't grow it if I could find a reasonably close farmers' market that had fresh corn available. How fresh should corn be? First, put on the pot of water to boil-then go pick the corn!

When I was a kid, corn lost discernible flavor in 24 hours. Now, however, with the new sweeter strains, corn can go over 72 hours without a noticeable change in flavor. Grow corn for fun, but it's really not a money saving crop to grow in a sfg.
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Re: Is it true?

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/26/2010, 11:29 am

I remember learning about helping my corn pollinate I found a kids web site with the information. Corn Info Link Here
I did copy and paste what it said about being the pollinator for your corn. I am going to try this myself this year Smile
Playing Pollinators


Corn is pollinated by the wind. Since every silk must be pollinated in order to have a full ear of corn,gardeners plant corn plants close together so there will be lots of pollen available. If you have just a couple of plants outside your classroom, you may want to try pollinating the corn. Once you see the tassels emerge, look for the silks in a few days. The silks will be receptive to pollen for 10-14 days. See if you can observe the silks’ tiny hair – like receptors
that hold onto the pollen.

To transfer the pollen, shake or remove pollen
from the tassel and sprinkle
it on the silks of the same or another plant. In about 30
days, you
should be able to enjoy the fruits of your experiment.

Hope this helps
Ha-v-v
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Re: Is it true?

Post  LaFee on 5/26/2010, 2:59 pm

Heehee...Hav-v-v, when my husband was growing up in Wisconsin, that wasn't a science experiment, it was a summer job!

Tasseling corn is a backbreaker, trudging through cornfields and doing that all the way down a row...nobody but high-school and college kids will do that much work for that little money, so every morning in the summer all across the Midwest you can still see busloads of kids headed out for the fields.

(Jenjehle...I didn't do it, but lots of my friends around North Webster and Churubusco used to go tassel corn every summer...we moved before I was old enough!)

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Re: Is it true?

Post  jenjehle on 5/26/2010, 5:46 pm

I decided to do SFG'ing b/c of the "hands off" approach. The "plant it and let it go" part of it... the "No Digging, No tilling, No Weeding"


With 5 kids, endless laundry and constant refereeing of my four boys (with one little girl) to ensure they don't kill each other. I'm doing good to even be able to plant veggies, no extra time to pollinate the corn.

This year I decided I'd focus on growing things that are pricey at the store, we eat a lot of and we eat frequently. Hence all the lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and pickling cucumbers. I tossed a few things in there to try but mostly, I don't have much time for experimenting just for the sake of experimenting.

Last year, I planted bush beans, maybe 3-4 squares. There were barely enough for everyone to try one serving. No more of that!

If planting corn wouldn't give me a decent yield of at least a few meals/serviings for each family member, it's not worth it.

Thanks for everyone's input!
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Re: Is it true?

Post  Ha-v-v on 5/26/2010, 7:30 pm

Heehee...Hav-v-v, when my husband was growing up in Wisconsin, that
wasn't a science experiment, it was a summer job!

LaFee thank you for sharing that. I always thought that large corn operations just depended on the wind to do that work and how close they were planted. Im amazed. Especially the summers we passed through Iowa and Nebraska. Corn rows as far as the eye could see. Now I think of people doing that .. oh man ! But it provided a service and they got some pay Smile
I dont have a lot of corn really this year and the boys love this stuff, we found out about it too late last year to try on the 4 stalks I had. It was sad. So this year we will try it. I could easily do that with the amount of squares I will have planted while Im visiting the garden in the a.m.

With 5 kids, endless laundry and constant refereeing of
my four boys (with one little girl) to ensure they don't kill
each other. I'm doing good to even be able to plant veggies, no extra
time to pollinate the corn.

You made me laugh so much !! with this side ways laughing guy !! lolololol Im like that when I think of one extra thing I have to do.. I would say.. are you kidding me? Lololol and look like this . I love sfg because you can do the things you want to do for providing for the family, and still try to keep up with the regular Mom duties.
Good thinking to plant what costs the most. I like to plant that way as well as what we like the most. 3 different color bell peppers in a package last year was 7.50 !!! I was sick, didnt buy it and vowed to have a green house some day to have them in the winter as well as summer. My last three at home are older now and more self sufficient. I dont know that I could have done it with all five at home and 3 in diapers at one time. Hats off to you girl !!! Here's to your garden success !!
Ha-v-v
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Re: Is it true?

Post  herbarium on 5/26/2010, 8:01 pm

Corn usually produces two ears per stalk. Square Foot Gardening makes much more sense for corn than row gardening if for no other reason than the fact that they are wind pollinated and so when in blocks they pollinate each other better. As a child I would gently shake the stalks but it shouldn't be necessary. Your children might enjoy doing that though.
Genetically modified corn is the only corn I know of which produces more ears per stalk and I would stay away from that.
Do you children have a garden area of their own?
If you plant pole beans you may get a quantity you would be happier with in a smaller space.

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Re: Is it true?

Post  flintlock28 on 5/26/2010, 11:18 pm

Years ago I planted Silver Queen corn (conventional Garden). Overwhelmingly, most stalks produced two ears. I had a few that produced three ears per stalk. I just this year started SFG, and I have two 4'x4' boxes filled with Silver Queen. I wonder if SFG will help produce any more than two ears??? I'll post my results in the future.

Don
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Re: Is it true?

Post  Megan on 5/26/2010, 11:23 pm

I've got Country Gentleman planted, I will post my results too.
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Re: Is it true?

Post  trukrebew on 5/27/2010, 1:26 am

I first tried growing corn last year in a few short rows but had no idea I should have helped to pollinate them. The growing conditions were so bad that I didn't even get one edible ear. But I did get enough stalks to decorate my mailbox for Halloween!
This year I have a 2x4 SFG box just for corn and am staggering late and early varieties. Even if I only get 1 or 2 meals for my family of 5, I know I can count on those stalks for decorations.
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