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rainbowgardener
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more corn questions

Sorry, I'm kind of a newbie at the corn stuff. I last grew it about 20 years ago, and since it was so decimated by all the critters there, I didn't really pay much attention to it.

So I have these corn plants that have just started making baby ears in the past few days-week. But we are going out of town June 9 to 13. So I need to know about how long it is from the new baby ears to ripe corn. Please don't tell me my first corn crop is going to ripen up while we are gone! :shock:
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jal_ut
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Re: more corn questions

Hmmmmm....... lessee the 9th is just a week away. I think you will be good. Have fun!
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bcallaha
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Re: more corn questions

It will depend partly on the type of corn you have, but from my experience, generally 2-3 weeks after the silks appear the corn should be ready to pick. I usually start checking once the silks turn brown, and when the milk is right, I pick!!

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rainbowgardener
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Re: more corn questions

So here's my results so far:

Three plantings of corn. First one a 4x4 block of silver queen, with 15 plants. Every plant produced one ear, but some of the ears did not get all the way filled out.

Second one some bicolor. 4x4 block with 14 plants. It was very hot and we left town for a week. It didn't get watered and I think got stunted. Started setting ears when it was very tiny. Almost all the plants made one ear, but the ears were small.

Third one a 3' diameter circle of Silver Queen with 16 plants. Despite all the heat, this planting has done the best. It is very tall and leafy. Every plant has one ear. We just ate the first two tonight. They were good sized ears of corn, filled out all the way to the top. :)

So clearly in rich soil, with plenty of water, you can grow corn crowded like this.

QUESTION: In people's experience, if the corn plants were spaced out more like the recommendations, could they have produced two ears per plant? Are there other corn varieties that more reliably produce two ears per plant?
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applestar
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Re: more corn questions

We were just discussing that in this other thread, starting about here with Taiji's post. Later in the thread (next page), I proposed that variety must make a difference in the number of ears because of what I'm seeing with my tightly spaced corn mini-patches.

Subject: Facts about growing Corn
Taiji wrote:Can't wait to see it! As smart as raccoons are, I'm surprised they don't turn off the music, or at least change the station to something they like!

Forgot to give the vital statistics. My plants are about 8-10 inches apart, 6 to a row; another row about 20 inches away; then another 2 rows like that but about 3 feet from the first double row. (It's just the way my "beds" are set up) Each plant with a couple of exceptions gave 2 nice ears. One plant tried to give 4 ears, don't know why. None of those 4 were that great. I did notice that the plants on the ends of the rows seemed to give slightly bigger ears, not a lot bigger, but it was perceptible. Probably had a little less competition down at the end. Speaks well for giving things enough space if you can manage it.
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Re: more corn questions

I can only talk about Bodacious that I've grown for the last few years and Ambrosia this year. Both of these varieties have given 2 ears per plant, but I can't say anything about other varieties. I figure with the spacing I've given them, it comes out to be about 2 square feet for each plant. (about a 6 X 8 area with 24 plants) One of the 2 ears is usually a little bigger than the other, but both have been nice.

But, I'll soon find out what Silver Queen does. :)

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rainbowgardener
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Re: more corn questions

"But, I'll soon find out what Silver Queen does. :)"

Oh, good! :) Let me know how it does for you. I'm interested to see if someone else with more spacing (and whatever else is different), gets different results.

One of the things this Forum is great for! Pooling knowledge like this...
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Re: more corn questions

Corn is an interesting plant. It needs space so it will develop ears. Too crowded it will not make ears. If it is too thin, the ears will not get pollinated and there will be patchy kernels on the ears. It is best to have a corn patch. I like to plant with a little wheeled seeder and it drops one or two seeds about every 8 inches. After it gets up I will pull a few so I have single plants about every 8 inches to a foot in the row. I recommend three rows spaced 30 inches. This has worked very well for me. Oh yes, Ambrosia is a good one.
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rainbowgardener
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Re: more corn questions

Well, I now can testify that Silver Queen will make ears when planted even 2 per square foot (14 in a 3 foot diameter circle), in rich soil with a lot of water added in this hot, dry summer. Done this way, they produce one ear per plant.

What I don't yet know is whether they have the potential to make more than one ear per plant if spaced more.

These are pictures I posted elsewhere with questions about the squash plants. But (especially if you click on them to enlarge) you can see how closely spaced the corn plants are and you can even see some of the ears (some of them have been eaten already! :) )

Image

Image

Image
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PS Re: more corn questions

PS. I just wanted to add that I quite understand that what works for a three foot circle of corn may well not work (probably doesn't work) for a field of corn.

I can baby my three foot circle!
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Re: more corn questions

I have planted Silver Queen before. It can make more than one ear, sometimes even a third will appear but by then there aren't any tassels left. I did find that spacing 8 inches works but there also needs to be enough plants in number to get at least 2 filled ears. When I plant less than 40 plants I get one filled ear and one partial filled ear. when I plant at least 47 plants I get aboout 67 ears at least 3/4 filled. If I plant corn about 10 days later on the perimeter of the corn patch. I will get better filling of the second ears. The corn planted later is mostly to provide pollen and not intended to really provide more ears. When I have only a small number of plants, I get more filled ears if I bag the tassels and hand polinate.
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Re: more corn questions

Thanks for the good info. I am getting ready to try one last planting of corn. I will have a space about 4x12' for it, so I will plant more! I can put 48 plants there, so I will get past your magic number!

(More corn! More corn! :) )
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Re: more corn questions

:lol: good luck and keep us posted! :wink:
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Re: more corn questions

jal_ut wrote:Corn is an interesting plant. It needs space so it will develop ears. Too crowded it will not make ears. If it is too thin, the ears will not get pollinated and there will be patchy kernels on the ears. It is best to have a corn patch. I like to plant with a little wheeled seeder and it drops one or two seeds about every 8 inches. After it gets up I will pull a few so I have single plants about every 8 inches to a foot in the row. I recommend three rows spaced 30 inches. This has worked very well for me. Oh yes, Ambrosia is a good one.
Corn is a popular topic this year! James, maybe you have posted this before, but I have been wanting to ask you if it is typical for you to get 2 nice ears with Ambrosia with your spacing? It did that very well for me this year, and also Bodacious did that in previous years.

My Silver Queen is now approaching 9 feet high. Wish I knew if that is normal. Tassels are all out, and silks as well. Silks are longer on this variety than on others I've grown. Some silks are nearly 8 inches long. Also, most of the plants are trying to form 3 ears. I'm thinking that might not be a good thing. I wonder if one should break off one of the ears to keep the plant from overdoing it?

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Re: more corn questions

Taiji wrote:My Silver Queen is now approaching 9 feet high. Wish I knew if that is normal. Tassels are all out, and silks as well. Silks are longer on this variety than on others I've grown. Some silks are nearly 8 inches long. Also, most of the plants are trying to form 3 ears. I'm thinking that might not be a good thing. I wonder if one should break off one of the ears to keep the plant from overdoing it?
Subject: Annual P E T C Meeting
Taiji wrote:Image
The plants snarling round the Silver Queen are Blue Hubbard, (as if you didn't know) Butternut, Buttercup and cukes of some kind. Believe it or not, somewhere in there are 4 foot wide "aisles" for "walking". Hah.
So... Are you somehow hand-pollinating those 9 foot corn?
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Re: more corn questions

@Taiji -- FYI

Subject: Why isn't my corn sweet
Charlie MV wrote:Yeah, I gotta say our sweet corn is wonderful. We grow silver queen and it got 12'tall last year. We're still eating it out of the freezer. Only thing better is our fresh fried okra.
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Re: more corn questions

That is actually a really good question.

Normally the lower ears, let' say you do have 3 ears, the bottom one never amounts to much, it would then send the rest of the energy into the 1-2 main ears.

I should have thought of that sooner. Im going to definitely pull the lower ones on my corn plants.

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Re: more corn questions

No, I haven't hand pollinated anything ever. I've always had great success with corn just in a 6x8 area, 24 plants. 2 ears per plant always filled out to the end. That was with Bodacious and Ambrosia. This Silver Queen planting is very similar. I guess I'll just see what happens. Thanks for the link. Looks like my 9 foot Silver Queen are shorties compared to the 12 footers! I must be doing something wrong! :wink:

I might do an experiment and break off the lower of the 3 ears then on some plants and see if it makes a difference. I think maybe I'll carefully cut them tho and try not to just wrench them off!

Is Silver Queen an older su variety?

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Re: more corn questions

The white corn is usually sweeter than the yellow. Silver Queen was one of the first white corn developed and remains the standard from which all other white corn is measured. It is a SU type. Silver King is supposed to be bigger and some say a little bit sweeter since it is an SE type. Most people still ask for Silver Queen but apparently very little Silver Queen is grown commercially anymore. They are growing the newer white corn, but often calling it Silver Queen at the market because that is the name that people associate with white corn. I still plant Silver Queen and I like it better than most yellow corn. One of these days I might actually try Silver King or How Sweet It Is. The white corn does grow tall about 7-8 ft tall. Silver Queen can have long ears up to 10 inches long but most are around 8.5 inches and around 60 rows. White corn does take a little longer to mature than other varieties, but it is not a problem for me since I have a long growing season. I cannot grow temperate varieties as well since most are not resistant to maize mosaic virus and tropical corn can be grown even when with our short days in the winter months.

In fact the corn seed companies here grow their seed corn in winter here.
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Re: more corn questions

I'm bringing back this thread as an update on how my Silver Queen did. I'm very happy with it. Most plants gave 2 ears per stalk. All were filled out to the end. A few plants have given only one ear, but I would say more gave 2 than one. A couple of stalks have 3 ears. I'm waiting to pick the 3rd one to see if it has any kernels! I didn't do any hand pollinating. I think since it's an SU variety, I found that it doesn't have that melt in your mouth texture of the Ambrosia or Bodacious which I have grown previously. I think maybe adding a couple of minutes of cooking time might help. Still, excellent. :)

Kinda hard to see, but 2 ears per stalk.
2 per stalk.JPG
s. queen.JPG
s. queen ready.JPG

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Re: more corn questions

Nice looking corn.
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Taiji
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Re: more corn questions

Thx! At first I thought I might not do Silver Queen again, but the reviews from people I've given ears to were really favorable, so I probably will. The seeds are readily available at the big box stores and cheap.

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Re: more corn questions

Yeah looks great!

I was wondering if humidity might influence how well corn is pollinated. I've been told tomatoes and peppers have pollination problems in humid weather due to clumping. Jal_ut and Taiji in Utah and Arizona have low humidity, right?
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Re: more corn questions

That's generally true for Arizona. We do have our monsoon season which traditionally lasts from around July 4th to first or second week in September. (when I was a kid here, they just called it the summer rains) It is more humid then and the tasseling/pollination of the corn occurs right in the middle of that time. ( I think Gary explained our monsoon season very well once :) )

But, I think on our worst humid day, it doesn't approximate that drippy, steamy, mildewy humidity of the east. (sorry, don't mean to offend!) I'm originally from West Virginia, and whenever I go back to visit, that's the first thing I notice. :shock:

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