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GardenRN
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Corn question

Any good ideas about why some of my corn stalks are in full tassle and dropping pollen when they don't have any ears or silks showing??

Some are double eared stalks, so I doubt it's a stress related thing...although we have been over the hundred degree mark for over a week now and have about 4 days of it left. :?
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Re: Corn question

GardenRN wrote:Any good ideas about why some of my corn stalks are in full tassle and dropping pollen when they don't have any ears or silks showing??Some are double eared stalks, so I doubt it's a stress related thing...although we have been over the hundred degree mark for over a week now and have about 4 days of it left. :?
Huh, What? Some of the stalks have tillers?

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farmerlon
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Re: Corn question

GardenRN wrote:Any good ideas about why some of my corn stalks are in full tassle and dropping pollen when they don't have any ears or silks showing??
...
I am thinking it is heat stress.
I've made the same observaton here, and we've had several weeks of drought and 100+ degree temps.
I've been doing a decent job of keeping the corn watered, and it's loaded with tassles, but I haven't seen an ear yet. :shock:

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I mean mine had tassels before ears, and I think that is how it should be. Ears shouldn't be too far behind it though. Now my stalks are loaded with ears, but they haven't fully thickened, and the silks are just turning tan. So hopefully another week or 2.
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RogueRose
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Is this your peruvian? Mine aren't tassling yet.....they're taller than I am though...I am starting to see support roots.

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Do you have them in rows or just one row?
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GardenRN
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Not the peruvian, and yeah bobberman, there are 144 plants planted in a square...

It is a mix of silver queen and sugar dots.

Eric, they're not tillers (although I was happy to see a few this year :) ) I'm saying my tassles are "full bloom" if you will....dropping pollen heavily....and there are no ears to pollinate.

This problem isn't effecting all of the stalks...a lot of them do have ears and tassles in synch. And a handful of the stalks have two ears/silk coming out to be pollinated. But that other handful has just pollen and no flower.

I have been fairly good about watering, plants don't look droopy or wilted. They look happy! Just not timing everything right.
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jal_ut
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there are 144 plants planted in a square...
If corn is planted too closely, that is common for it to tassel and not have ears, especially those in the center of a dense planting. How big of a square?
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GardenRN
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The plants are planted in a 12'x12' square. The plants are 12" apart in each direction. I have done it this way the previous 3 years and not had this happen though...
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jal_ut
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I know, scratched record syndrome..........

I hate to keep saying this, but if you want good corn, plant corn in rows 30 to 36 inches apart and plants in the row 8 to 12 inches spacing and a minimum of two rows, three or more being even better. Why? Because it has been amply demonstrated that such plantings produce good ears, two per stalk. This is how all the big fields of corn are planted and there is good reason for it. Corn is a large plant and it needs space to spread its leaves and receive sunshine. It also needs carbon dioxide which comes on the wind, and it needs space to receive the breeze. It also needs ample water and soil fertility. Give it those things and watch it make ears.

Next time you plant that 12x12 plot plant 5 rows and put 15 plants in each. That is 75 plants and it will likely give you 100 to 150 ears.

Oh, if you plant 2 varieties, keep the variety together. Don't intermix them. They are apt to drop pollen at a little different time.
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GardenRN
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Well, this will be my last time (I think) planting commercial hybrids. I got some heirloom seeds that have been selected and saved for sweetness and I will likely be planting only those in the future.

I'll take the advice, James, and try it with my last corn crop of the year. We'll see how it does. I would think that an heirloom corn would need even MORE room than common hybrids like sugar dots and silver queen so I may space it out even a tad more than what you recommended.
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jal_ut
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Yes, corn can vary a lot in its final size. The bigger the plants the more space it will require.
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RogueRose
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How come some corn I see is super tall and other corn I see is short? My corn is always super tall. Last year I had silver queen and some random other fun ones. Like a purple sweet. Mine always grow super tall. And I'd say I crowd mine pretty close between the fence corn and the little block I have. I am about 5'10" and it grows taller than I can reach. When I drive around I see corn much shorter than my corn. Some of it is feed corn, some of it is sweet. The Peruvian right now is taller than me and it hasn't tassled yet. I hope it doesn't get HUGE. I don't want to have to deal w/ it falling over. Tho now that the stabilize roots are starting to come out they seem more secure than before.

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jal_ut
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How come some corn I see is super tall and other corn I see is short?
I think it mostly comes down to variety. Within a variety, you may get a little variation in height depending on soil fertility.

I have seen field corn 14 feet tall. I grew some super early sweet corn one year that only got 4 feet tall. Most of the sweet corn I have grown ends up around 7 feet tall.
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Definitely, the variety will determine the height. I have noticed, too, that when you plant can also make a difference. Last year I planted the same variety in two plantings 3 weeks apart, and the second planting wasn't as tall as the 1st planting. Could have been other factors, too, like the soil or moisture, also.

Brad

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