cornfusing gardening problem

Discussion in 'Hobbies' started by Sore Thumb Suburbanite, Aug 3, 2011.

  1. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2011
    orange county
    would some of you experienced gardeners please give me your two cents?
    I am at a loss as to what I did wrong with my corn. none of my ears turned out fully formed nor did any of the kernels that did form taste sweet and juicy! I watered regularly and my corn stalks made lots of stalks foe each kernel I planted, the main stalks all got several ears and i waited for the silks to die and the corn grew the whole 110 days, so whats the issue?

    I did have a lot of ants milking aphids beneath the first husk layer, but none of the ants went into the corn ear itself. were the aphids and ants the problem, or did I water too much? I just don't know what went wrong, I was really excited to have corn and I didn't get a single successful ear from my 12 plants!


    this is my first year gardening and I would really like to fix my errors for next years's benefits. thanks!
  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008

    I don't actually grow corn, but when I looked it up on the web there seemed to be two explanations. The first possibility was too hot and/or too dry for the plant and the second was poor pollination...maybe someone else will chime in with actual experience.
  3. Carols Clucks

    Carols Clucks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 13, 2010
    Did you plant them in a long row of 12

    or 2 rows of 6

    or 3 of 4?

    They pollinate better when in groups than long rows, like the 3 rows of 4 plants better than one long row
  4. Dawn419

    Dawn419 Lost in the Woods

    Apr 16, 2007
    Evening Shade, AR
    Corn is wind pollinated as opposed to insect pollinated so it could be that you didn't have enough plants for good pollination.

    Our landlady back in TN used to plant up huge blocks of corn, as opposed to planting it in rows and she always had corn coming out of her ears (pun intended).

    I've told my family this "secret" and they brushed it off and planted in rows. Come harvest time, they fed their corn to the cows as the ears weren't fully formed and ended up buying corn for freezing from a farmer selling it out of the back of his pick up.

    Hope this is some help!
  5. darkmatter

    darkmatter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 10, 2009
    Yeah, looks like poor pollination. Did you plant enough corn in blocks rather than rows?
  6. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2011
    orange county
    I planted 3 rows of 4 stalks, in a block, I have a second, newer block of corn i planted late in june, 6 rows of 10, hopefully they will be better, though so far a few have fallen over, maybe I'll go shake them daily so the stalks get better pollination. My corn also grew really really tall, like 10-12 feet, I was amazed.

    thanks for the help, maybe a few rows in a block aren't enough. I'm sure I watered the first corn enough. the newer planting of corn is already getting ears and they will hopefully turn out better.
  7. NanaKat

    NanaKat True BYC Addict Premium Member

    One other way to increase the fullness in your ears is to hand pollinate them. Slide your hand gently over the pollen tassels and then pick up pinchfuls of pollen and sprinkle on the fresh silks. Each little strand of silk makes one kernal so you want lots of pollen on as many silks as possible.
    I hand pollinate every morning when the ears are silking.
  8. Sore Thumb Suburbanite

    Sore Thumb Suburbanite Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2011
    orange county
    Quote:Thats so interesting, I had no idea that was the case! I'm really excited now about corn silks and will do as you suggest, starting tomorrow morning...its way way too hot right now. I may need a ladder, the corn is quite tall.

    Thanks NanaKat!
  9. CityChickens2011

    CityChickens2011 Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 2, 2011
    Believe it or not, but I read somewhere that people used to ride behind a tractor or mule/horse drawn rig and would hand pollinate the corn rows for better crops. It was a dirty job and I can not remember the apparatus name and yes, it did have a specific name. I thought it was a hoot. [​IMG] but after several yrs of planting our garden with two long rows of corn I planted a block of corn. That year we had plenty of corn. So it must work. Hope this round grows better. [​IMG]

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