joed2323
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How to protect Ambrosia corn from sustained wind gusts

Ok 2-4 years ago growing ambrosia in upper michigan was a cake walk. I had no issues and loved every day except for one major thunderstorm looking at patio door watching my corn blow over killed me..

Last year was my first year growing corn or even a garden out here in western north dakota/montana/canadian border (aka oil fields of nd)

Anywho
Long story short, their is many times we have high wind warnings here, easily sustained winds of 45-62 miles an hour, granted its not always that windy but usually the 15-30mph range and no trees to block the wind.

I need ideas this year for my corn. Ive mounted the stalks last year that helped some but they will end up bending over just above the mound of dirt.

Should I try and stake up each row with string??? Should I individually stake each stalk? That could be a pain. I plant rows in a 25x25 plot for corn.

Work doesnt allow me to be home every night. Sometimes I work in another location thats 3 hours away for a week. One time I came home to all my corn laying over. I almost drove over it with my truck because I was so upset...

I do not want to build a 6foot wooden fence around my corn plot...

Im almost thinking I need tomatoe fencing or something but that could get expensive

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jal_ut
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Re: Ambrosia and wind

Hmmm, well seems we get maybe avg. two ears pf corn per stalk. If it was selling for $2.00 a dozen at the market last summer, you can't put a lot into protecting that corn or you may as well just go buy a bucketful of corn?
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joed2323
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Re: Ambrosia and wind

No sir I can not buy this awesome corn at the store.

I liked to space my corn enough in past so they don't compete with one another.

Maybe I should bring them in closer to help support one another??

Whats the min distance you would space ambrosia, I know you've grown this variety before

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applestar
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Re: Ambrosia and wind

That's the spirit! I wish I could help but I have no experience planting in as large scale.

I think double rows separated a little farther would support each other better since their leaves tangle. Definitely hill and bury the bottom leaves in the process as guy-lines to anchor them better. Deep watering and lengthy in-between like jal_ut does (isn't it only once a week for 12 hours or something, James?) would probably condition them to grow deep roots.

If you decide to support the outer rows, you might try heavy duty fence posts and something like Florida Weaving (tomato supporting technique) with braided rope or even tensioned wire such as used for espalier and grape trellising. -- I Florida-weaved my little single double row of 12 feet of corn last year (using thicker triple-ply sisal garden string) and that worked, but without tensioning, it tended to sag a bit. I don't think it would have stood up to sustained 60 mph winds.

The year before last, we had hurricane remnant tropical storm rip through and several of my tiny patches of corn actually got bent over. Some had been bent and twisted/mangled, and those were beyond recovery, but the ones that only got kinked responded well to immediately individually splinting on both sides of the stalk, just like a broken bone. I imagine in a big field of corn, this kind of thing just gets tossed as casualties of the weather, but I need every single one. :wink:
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Taiji
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Re: How to protect Ambrosia corn from sustained wind gusts

I guess it's not possible to plant the corn on the side of your house or barn that is away from the prevailing winds and still not shade it from the sun? Maybe you could take note next time it's extremely windy and see if there are any quiet spots?

Here in May and June we have blazing hot dry winds usually from the southwest. During those times I put a heavy shade cloth on my garden fence only on that side and it cuts down the wind but still allows the breeze to pass thru. But, only to a height of about 18 inches just so smaller plants and seedling aren't dried out. The length of cloth I use is about 28 feet long. Maybe you could do something like that on the side the wind most often comes from and use a higher shade cloth? 3 or 4 steel posts and a length of shade cloth 3 or 4 feet high might not be that much trouble or expense. Good luck!

joed2323
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Re: How to protect Ambrosia corn from sustained wind gusts

I was thinking about something simlar to clear plastic wrap. The stuff they use to shrink wrap pallets... I have access to longer rolls of it id probably have to 6 feet high around the fence of garden... I don't know if this will even work wrapping it around the outer fencing.
Will the wind rip it apart or will it even protect my corn??

Shade cloth? Never seen it before. And the florida weaving technique?

I will have to do some reseaching on these...

Taiji
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Re: How to protect Ambrosia corn from sustained wind gusts

I think the plastic wrap would catch the wind like a ship's sail...then who knows? Just what I think. Shade cloth is usually available at nurseries maybe even the big box stores. It is like a flexible screen made of cloth, (maybe nylon, not sure) It has tiny holes like a screen so the breeze can pass through. It's really made for shading plants from damaging sun overhead. But, works as a windbreak somewhat.

joed2323
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Re: How to protect Ambrosia corn from sustained wind gusts

This year I think im going to try dbl rows, and it doesnt bother me if the corn swallows me up when im working in their but I do not want to crowd them to much as to where they have to compete against each other...

Last year I had them spread out at 12" in the rows and my width between rows was about 30"-36"

Maybe I should try dbl rows?

What is the recommended or optimal distances for dbl row planting?

How close is too close for them?

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jal_ut
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Re: How to protect Ambrosia corn from sustained wind gusts

I grow Ambrosia, I use one of those two wheeled planters and it drops a couple of seed about every eight inches.
I put the rows spaced 30 inches and always plant at least three rows.

Don't know what to suggest for the wind. Seldom have that problem here.
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Taiji
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Re: How to protect Ambrosia corn from sustained wind gusts

Of course, if you have an unannounced dust devil come through, as we are apt to have here, all bets are off. :cry:

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Gary350
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Re: How to protect Ambrosia corn from sustained wind gusts

When farmers plant 1000 acres of corn they don't worry about wind. A large crop protects itself. I usually plant my corn in a square this helps block wind and sometimes after a storm it is blown over anyway but in a few days it straightens itself up but not perfect like it was before. Then my corn is growing at angles 40 different direction but it still makes good corn. Corn does not do well in small crops.
Last edited by Gary350 on Sat Apr 09, 2016 2:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: How to protect Ambrosia corn from sustained wind gusts

Lodging (corn blown over) is a symptom of scale. You could; 1, build a wind barrier of a fence. or, 2, plant down wind of a building. or, 3 plant several acres of corn.
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feldon30
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Re: How to protect Ambrosia corn from sustained wind gusts

I too have absolutely fallen in love Ambrosia corn. Unlike most super sweets that just taste like sugar, Ambrosia tastes like corn. To me it's a Silver Queen that you can refrigerate for a day or two and still have its flavor.

In my small home garden, I packed 6 rows at 14" apart with a seed every 6" and I got plenty of corn out of it. I don't see any reason to space 30" apart unless you need room to maneuver farm equipment. If I were in your situation, I would plant double or triple rows and then space to walk between. Let's say you did a triple row 16" apart and then a 28" walkway, that's 60" per triple row which divides into 300 inches 5 times. It would look like this:

A -- A -- A ------ A -- A -- A ------ A -- A -- A ------ A -- A -- A ------ A -- A -- A

I like the idea of putting Posts at the end of each row and running string or wire. You'd have to run 15 strings. I know that's a pain, but it might be worth it for Ambrosia.
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Gary350
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Re: How to protect Ambrosia corn from sustained wind gusts

feldon30 wrote:
In my small home garden, I packed 6 rows at 14" apart with a seed every 6" and I got plenty of corn out of it. I don't see any reason to space 30" apart unless you need room to maneuver farm equipment. If I were in your situation, I would plant double or triple rows and then space to walk between. Let's say you did a triple row 16" apart and then a 28" walkway, that's 60" per triple row which divides into 300 inches 5 times. It would look like this:

.

I do the same thing I pack the corn tight for good pollination rows are 12" apart with seeds 6" apart in a 15'x15' square this gives me 450 ears of corn, I only get 1 ear per plant. One year I planted corn in the corner of the yard next to the 6' tall wooden fence. Fence was on the north and east side a storm blew it all down anyway. It was all standing upright in a week but another storm blew it flat it only up righted itself half way after that but still made good corn. Problem with corn it all comes at once how do you eat 450 ears of corn in a week. You have to freeze it or can it in jars.

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feldon30
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Re: How to protect Ambrosia corn from sustained wind gusts

Well, my intention is to plant 2 rows, wait 2 weeks, plant 2 rows, wait 2 weeks, plant 2 rows, wait 2 weeks. Then I get corn for a month.
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