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TheWaterbug
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The mystery of the missing corn seedlings

So I sowed some Bodacious corn about 10 days ago, in 4 rows of 15' each, one 12" spacings, 3 seeds per hole.

3.5 rows emerged by day 7, but there was half a row with absolutely nothing going on. The other 3.5 rows were all coming up in 2s and 3s, and everything was in sync, and all about the same height.

I've been watering with a sprinkler, so everyone gets the same water, and no one's been walking on that row, but I was still missing 8 sets.

With a typical 85% germination rate, the odds of getting nothing in one hole is about 1/3 of 1%.

With 64 holes, the odds of getting at least one hole somewhere with nothing growing is about 20%

The odds of having 8 holes in a row with nothing drops down to 10^-20, or lower than the odds of me winning the lottery twice in a row.

Then I remembered who was helping me that morning. "Hey son, remember when we sowed the corn seed last Saturday?"

"Uh huh."

"Did you put seeds in that whole row?"

"Nuh uh."

"?????. Why not?"

"I got tired."

The odds of a 7-yr-old getting distracted in the garden: about 95%.

edit: updated the math
Last edited by TheWaterbug on Mon Aug 08, 2011 6:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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stella1751
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LMFAO

I'm getting old, so you will need to remind me: Did your son help me plant my corn this June?
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rainbowgardener
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Too funny! :D
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cherishedtiger
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HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!!! :lol:

Oh that is very upsetting that you wont be getting all your corn as you had hoped, but none the less, very good for a laugh for the rest of us.

I have a 17yr old step son who my husband keeps trying to get to help me with the garden... he has no interest so for the sake of similar happening here, I tell him its ok he doesnt need to help out, I got it all under control...
Because all things need to be cherished
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TheWaterbug
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cherishedtiger wrote:Oh that is very upsetting that you wont be getting all your corn as you had hoped, but none the less, very good for a laugh for the rest of us.
Actually, since I had 2s and 3s everywhere else, I transplanted a few seedlings yesterday morning. I know corn isn't supposed to transplant well, but I tried to be careful.

The tops were only about 2" tall, but some of the roots went down 4" or more! So I dug all the way down until I could get them out without pulling too hard or snapping off the taproot, then gently eased them into a new hole with lots of water and some nice words.

This morning 7 of the 8 looked pretty good, and actually looked a little taller then yesterday.

If they're all still alive in 2 more days I think they'll be OK.

In my last patch I had 5-6 "holes" in my rows that I filled with transplants, just before I thinned. Those were at the foot-tall stage, and I just picked them up with as much dirt as I could get on the shovel at one time, and they all survived. They even made corn :)
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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rainbowgardener
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I like your signature line. Waterbug. Not sure LA has literally been frost free since the ice age, though close. I went to college in Claremont, CA a bit farther inland (about 20 miles due east), so even a bit warmer. I do remember one night around 2 AM, girls running through the girls dorm, yelling "it's snowing!!!" Went running out and there were about a dozen snowflakes floating down and all the girls standing around in their shorty nightgowns gawking at them!!
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TheWaterbug
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rainbowgardener wrote:Went running out and there were about a dozen snowflakes floating down and all the girls standing around in their shorty nightgowns gawking at them!!
That sounds like a terrific way to recruit young men to attend Claremont!

The inland areas are warmer when it's warm, but they're also colder when it's cold. 10 years ago I lived near Thousand Oaks (~12 miles inland ATCF), and I'd get frost on my lawn and on my windshield 2-3 times a year. Even then they were very light frosts.

I now live near the coast (~2 miles ATCF), and I do think we'll get a solitary frost perhaps once every decade or two, but it certainly isn't frequent enough that we'd ever plan for it in our gardening.

My transplanted seedlings seem to be doing OK, despite 3-4 of them getting stepped on by a small child yesterday. :roll:
Sunset 23/USDA 11a, Elev. 783', Frost free since 8,000 BC. Plagued by squirrels, gophers, and peafowl, but coming to terms with it!

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applestar
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Just caught up with all your corn adventures. :D
I love it! :lol:

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