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What went wrong with my corn?

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What went wrong with my corn?

Post  The Cat's Other Mother on 8/7/2010, 2:23 pm

I'm so disappointed in my sweet corn; I almost wish I hadn't planted it. Out of the six stalks that came up, three never grew tall, probably due to being over-crowded by the nearby tomato and gourd plants, but three stalks had grown up so straight and tall and put out little corn which grew bigger for a week or two, then seemed to stop. The silks turned brown, so I harvested the two largest to see what was up. Instead of full cobs, they had produced little cobs half full of big juicy kernels and half empy rows. All of them turned out like that, most with too few to even cut off and mix with beans. I went ahead and culled all of it out of my garden.

What went wrong? Was it because ther were no honey bees? There were lots of ants on the stalks, did they cause some kind of damage?

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Re: What went wrong with my corn?

Post  boffer on 8/7/2010, 2:34 pm

Chances are, the correct answer is that you didn't plant enough corn!

Corn is self pollinating. It falls off the tassels and onto the silk. Each silk thread is connected to a kernel. Yep, each kernel must be pollinated.

It is highly recommended for pollination purposes, that corn be planted in blocks, rather than rows. For example, a 4x4 sfg box with a plant in each square, rather than 16 plants in a line along a fence.

Usually, a little breeze is all it takes for corn to become pollinated. But I remember reading a while back somebody saying their husband had a job as a kid, hand pollinating big fields of corn. That was the first I had ever heard of that.

I don't know if ants are a problem for corn.
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Re: What went wrong with my corn?

Post  Josh on 8/7/2010, 7:35 pm

We had a 5 foot x 5 foot SFG for our corn,we already had that size garden so thats why its that size instead of a 4 x4. We planted 4 to each square giving us 100 stalks of corn. Our Great Dane took out the two center rows by walking in it,we had two really bad storms that blew it down flat and it still gave us around 40 nice fully developed ears of corn. My dad said thats still the best he's seen in a small garden. To help pollinate it I shook the stalks and it would make a cloud of pollen dust. The corn was called bodacious,it was 7 foot tall and took 75 days to maturity. I'm working on a way to give it support as it gets taller to keep it from getting blown over flat like that next year.
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Re: What went wrong with my corn?

Post  The Cat's Other Mother on 8/7/2010, 11:21 pm

Thanks for the info, guys. I'm learning a lot from my failures with this first SFG.

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