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Two corn kernels sprouting side by side. Should I kill one?

Pardon my Subject line, for using the word kill. Here is my situation though. I planted corn in my garden, and made the mistake of planting two seeds side by side. So I think the end result of this, will be that my corn will be stunted. I don't want my corn to be stunted. Should I kill one of the corn plants, so that the adjacent plant can grow taller and more robust?

I saw a video on You tube where a farmer was removing base stalks from his corn stalk, because they suck up most of the water, and the corn plant ends up being stunted.

I hope to hear from someone who has grown corn successfully.

Thanks in advance for the help.

Super Green Thumb
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If you must cull, why not let size be your guide. Pluck the little one.

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Super Green Thumb
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If you wait until they are sprouted and a couple inches high, you might be able to carefully dig one out and transplant it. But you write this as if you are talking about only two seeds? If that is true, you need to hurry up and plant some more. Corn does not do well as one or two plants. They need to pollinate each other. Each kernel of corn on the cob had to be individually pollinated with its own grain of pollen, so you can see there needs to be a bunch of pollen flying around. Minimum you need about 9 plants, planted as a 3 x 3 block. Give them enough room between plants, corn gets big.

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Super Green Thumb
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DITTO RBG on needing multiple plants for pollination. Pulling may damage the roots of the plant that is to remain so just snip the smaller seedling at ground level.

Good luck

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Super Green Thumb
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For years I planted two seeds every couple of feet. The plants always did just fine. But sometimes I had bare spots and lifted one plant to fill the vacant space. Neither plant ever seemed to suffer from that process.

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I only plant one seed in a hole. It is really hard to kill anything.

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I have pre-planted about 18 heirloom Indian red corn plants. So their will be plenty of pollen. However rainbow gardener, can you clear something up for me. You noted :
Each kernel of corn on the cob had to be individually pollinated with its own grain of pollen
So I am really confused about the pollination process. Does corn benefit from having pollen from other corn plants?
What if you have one single corn plant out in the middle of nowhere? Would it able to mature using it's own pollen.

Green Thumb
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I struggle to cull because they are my babies! Kill is the right word! But if it has just sprouted, just move one :)

To answer your questions; the pollen from the tassels (male) blows onto the silks (female) on the ears (or where they will be) and travel down those silks like a stigma on other flowers. Each silk is a stigma and will create one seed. There should be more pollen than needed in the main group though so each silk should easily get more than one pollen grain. On the other hand the individual might not receive enough. I found that if you don't have enough plants you don't get full pollination but lack of wind, rain etc can affect pollination too.

If they don't get enough pollen you will have missing kernels. You can manually pollinate that individual plant with other plants' tassels or it's own. You need fresh pollen on the first few days they start to release. Break a piece off and rub all over the silks. Do this over 5 days.

I had read a paper that gave percentages for self-pollination and cross pollination but I can't remember the values. I can tell you that the majority was cross-pollination. Cross is usually best but if you don't plan to plant the new seeds then don't worry.

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I used this method to hand pollinate corn in my small/limited patch last year (well, I didn't cut and save tassels in a vase of water, but I collected pollen on folded paper and poured into silks of same variety corn to pollinate) and it worked very well :D

Subject: Can you pollinate different types of corn with each other?
TZ -OH6 wrote:Two years ago I tried to segregate colors on an 'Indian' corn. I failed because of racoons, but the pollination was easy. I tied to swamped out natural cross pollination by adding so much of the pollen I wanted that I was sure to get mostly the results I wanted.

This method works for a small garden, one row etc: Cut a tassle off when it first starts to release pollen, and put it in a vase of water like the flower stalk that it is. (You can cut as many tassles off as you want, I hd to keep my tassles separate because of the colors).

Set that on a newspaper to catch the pollen.

Pollen will be released in the early part of the day. It only has a short life span so use it as soon as possible (within a day I think --I took it outside right away).

Starting about 10 AM shake the tassle over the paper. I regularly got a teaspoon of pollen per cycle. Repeat every two or three hours until it stops for the day. You can do this for about three days. I then used a paper plate folded in half to form a pouring spout and simply sprinkled pollen onto silks out in the garden. Start as soon as you see silks emerge from the ears and keep doing it until the ear is fully silked.

From what I read, fertilization is more successful better during the same time of day that the pollen is being released. Silks are sticky or something--I forget the detail. You can get a tablespoon of pollen in all from a single tassel, more than enough for a small plot of corn.

It would probably make a good science fair experiment for the kids -- Timing pollen release etc.

The down side is that all the action happens while you are at work. I don't know the efficiency if you pollenate the silks late in the day, but I don't see why it wouldn't work well enough.
Based on this, you don't want to cut off the tassel unless you plant to keep it alive because it will yield pollen over multiple days.

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Super Green Thumb
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NO. Just let it grow. Not going to hurt a thing. It is well to have a good group of corn so it will pollinate properly. Just a plant or two won't pollinate right. You did say 18 plants. That should work if it is in three rows spaced 30 inches apart such that it is a patch of corn not a single row. Corn should be planted in a minimum of three rows spaced 30 inches apart and a plant about every 8 to 12 inches in the rows. The reason for this is that corn is wind pollinated and it just simply does not get pollinated right if the planting is not dense. However on the other hand if it is too dense, you will get tall corn with no ears on it. I have found that the planting scheme I gave you works well.

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Corn is my favorite thing to grow. I have very small space to plant stuff in so I plant more densely than what most people would recommend. I have never had any trouble with my corn not getting pollinated. Sometimes I accidentally slip two seeds in the hole or near each other. I let them grow. One usually ends up knocking one over once they get bigger but they don't seem to 'steal nutrients' or stunt the other in any way. Here's a pic of my corn bed this year: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid ... e465d68d34 The corn is a relatively "small" breed so it doesn't get too huge or seems to crowd. I have never had an issue.

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