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Growing corn - preventing pests and general knowledge

Discussion in 'Gardening' started by Blackberry18, Sep 4, 2016.

  1. Blackberry18

    Blackberry18 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 25, 2015
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    So, I grew corn for the first time this year and it was really fun and successful. The stalks grew tall and produced cobs. One unfortunate problems was that some pests got into my corn and got into some of the cobs. I cut off the bad parts but was still disgusted by the damage. I found out that they are called corn sap beetles and are attracted to the smell of damaged corn. So, how do I prevent those little insects. Is there a certain spray? Any varieties that are resistant?

    Another quick question, what can I do about mutant corn? I hate all the cobs that have overgrown kernels next to the underdeveloped ones. I read that it has something to do with the corn silk? They are edible, just kind of odd, but as long as I can eat them I'm fine, but is there any way to prevent it?
     
  2. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Chicken Obsessed

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    Nov 7, 2012
    CENTRAL MAINE
    Never had corn sap beetles, so don't know how to deal with them. I know that growing a variety with tight husks and good flag development helps keep a lot of insects out. The variety I'm growing this year has not had any damage b/c of that. As far as your "mutant": How much corn did you plant? If you planted only one or two rows, this is your problem. If you planted 4 rows or more, your problem is more likely related to temp when the corn was tasseling and silking. Corn pollen is mostly carried on the wind, so if you plant 1 - 2 rows, the pollen does not get spread well enough to pollinate all of the kernels. Each single strand of silk picks up pollen and transports it into the ear where it pollinates and produces a single kernel. So, if there is not enough pollen falling on the silks, not all kernels will develop. An other thing you can do to help reduce insect damage is ensure that your soil is healthy. Corn is a heavy feeder, especially of nitrogen. So, using lots of compost, "finished" manure, mulch will help ALL plants to stay healthy. Healthy plants don't attract as many insects.
     
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