albucsfan
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Corn with split personality

Planted a smallish block of sweet corn this year (golden bantam because little man insisted on "normal" corn this year) and half of it looks great, shoulder height on a short person (that would be me) nice dark green and taller every day..... The other half just looks.... Unhappy. Shorter, lighter green just lagging behind.... Can't figure it out... Treated exactly the same. Same soil, same mulch, same gardener, same amount of early abuse by 4 year old feet... Real head scratcher here.... Any advice??? :shock: just a bit befuddled here....

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rainbowgardener
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So you need to figure out what is different between the two halves...

Depending on the direction of the planting one part could be getting more sun, the sun hits it earlier in the AM or stays later or whatever. Once it starts getting an advantage, the taller plants can shade the shorter ones, adding to the problem.

Or if there's some slope to the land, could be a drainage thing and one half gets too much or too little water. If you put fertilizer on it the fertilizer could be getting washed to one side.

So how big is the "smallish block"? Is there a sharp dividing line between the thriving half and the unhappy half or a more gradual transition?
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jal_ut
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Shorter, lighter green just lagging behind....
One of two things: Fertility issue or water issue. In the case of water, it would likely be too much water, not too little. If your soil is uniformly damp from side to side, I would suggest side dressing the corn with some 16-8-8 fertilizer and watering it in. It is best to water corn deeply, then not again for a week.

rainbowgardener, touches on some good points.
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rainbowgardener
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At my church, on opposite sides of the walk to the front door are two smoke bushes. They were identical when planted years ago and they are only about 6' apart. But the AM sun hits one of them first and so it gets a couple more hours of sun, just because of the angle of where the sun comes out from behind the building. So the sunnier one gets much bigger.

Some years ago, I decided to try and even them out, so I pruned the big one back to the size of the little one and left the little one alone. Well it turns out it LOVES being pruned! The one that was pruned just took off like crazy. So now it is twice as big as what used to be it's identical sib...

And I have flower beds on opposite sides of my front lawn, maybe 30 feet apart, planted with some of the same plants. But one side gets some shade from a big old lilac and the other doesn't. The sunnier side is 50% bigger and blooms a couple weeks earlier...

Small things can make a big difference.
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rootsy
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Any trees near by?

albucsfan
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Thanks to all for you help....
Block is about 6 rows x 8 plants per... Sounds like sun & drainage are going to be the issues as the happier corn is on the south side of the block... Might be shading some? Also there is a slight slope in that direction... Not much & you wouldn't notice without seeing how the water runs.... So sounds like the best I can do is add some higher nitrogen fertilizer & change how I plant next year? :wink: no ideas on how to get the shorter stuff more sun... It is a pretty gradual transition, so I bet that is big problem #1

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jal_ut
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Have you noticed how the sun moves in May and June? Here it comes up in the North East and travels to high overhead a little to the South at noon time, then sets in the North West. Trees or buildings on the East or West will definitely cast a shadow on an area early or late in the day, but mid day the sun is high overhead and plants in an area any distance at all from obstructions should get a good dose of sunlight. I have not been able to tell that corn on any side of a particular patch gets more or less sun than the other side.
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

albucsfan
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I'm not really sure though.... There is a building on one side but I have not had this problem before.... Guess I will try to baby it along an plant differently next year.... Already laying groundwork for expansion

albucsfan
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Not sure it matters to anyone but me.... But I think I figured it out! :D the "happy corn" is planted right where the black Lima beans were last year... Forgot all about that, because I didn't plant them this year, they tried to take over the world last time.... Definitely need their own space next time!!

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rainbowgardener
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Very interesting... one thing I didn't think to ask, what was planted there last year. I'll remember that. So something different was planted where the unhappy corn is? Something not leguminous and nitrogen-fixing?
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albucsfan
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rainbowgardener wrote:Very interesting... one thing I didn't think to ask, what was planted there last year. I'll remember that. So something different was planted where the unhappy corn is? Something not leguminous and nitrogen-fixing?
Yep... Actually, the unhappy corn is in a spot that wasn't planted at all last year.... Seems I just keep expanding around the edges... But now I know at least!

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applestar
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Interesting to me too! 8)
I'm experimenting with planned succession and crop rotation.

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rainbowgardener
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OK... so the unhappy corn is not only not where legumes were, but is in a spot that hasn't been gardened. That means the soil definitely may not be as good. The difference for me between my garden beds that I've been gardening intensively for a decade, adding stuff all the time and working it, and the native clay is amazing!
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TheWaterbug
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Can the OP post pictures please?
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albucsfan
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TheWaterbug wrote:Can the OP post pictures please?
If it is not too dark when I finally make it home from work I will try to get some pics.... If not... May have to wait a day or so, but I will get them :)
Thanks again to everyone for help & advice!!

albucsfan
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Trying to add pictures

[img]https://i1061.photobucket.com/albums/t466/albucsfan/corn005.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i1061.photobucket.com/albums/t466/albucsfan/corn003.jpg[/img]

Hopefully I got this right, and I apologize for picture quality....weird lighting at 5 am...yeah...that's my excuse :D

all the corn pictured was planted at the same time.

Once again, thanks everyone for all your help, I have been adding high nitrogen fertilizer, but slowly..trying to be careful. I does actually seem to be looking better though....better color at least! 8)

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TheWaterbug
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That's a pretty impressive display. They look like two different plantings completely.
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