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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I planted Burpee's Early & Often corn and it looked like it was doing pretty good. About 3 weeks ago (could be longer) we started to see tassels and the ears started to develop. Then they just stopped. It seems like the growth was stunted. Here are the ears we picked this morning. They are only about 4 - 5" long and there are strips or spots where no kernals developed. Could it be lack of water? It has been dry but I've been watering. Or is it lack of fertilizer? I used Miracle Gro about 3 times this season on the whole garden and everything else is doing well. I also could not find any bugs other than ants on the plants. Any ideas??

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
We do have butternut trees a distance away from the corn. From what I've read, they are supposed to be resistant to Juglans Wilt. I was even thinking that next year I might move the corn closer to the trees. I'm thinking lack of water. Even though we are no where near as dry as other areas ,it's definately drier than normal.
 

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What is the layout of your corn planting?
Remember that the MINIMUM number of rows recommended is four, but more is better. The planting should be more square than a long rectangle, to help with wind pollination.
Ann
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
There are four rows in a square. Not a big plot at all.
 

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Our second planting of sweetcorn looked somewhat like yours, not as bad and I know it was from lack of rain. I understand from tasseling on, corn needs a lot of water and while we also watered, it is not like a good soaking rain.
 

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The first part of my corn crop did great - big, beautiful, full ears. The second part, not so much. The ears looked very much like yours. The difference was that the first part had plenty of rain, then it stopped raining. The second part of the crop didn't get any rain while it was filling out. The result was stunted ears, like yours. I would say it is almost certainly lack of rain that did it, judging from my own experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks everyone! I've still got some new ears coming on so I'll make sure they get lots of water!
 

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how many rows of corn do you plant, and how close?

I'm thinking possible incomplete pollination?
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
It's just a small plot. About 4 rows of 5 - 6 plants, planted about 6 - 8" apart.
 

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i don't think it is lack of water. i think it is a pollination issue. i have six rows and some of the seeds had to be replanted. the first crop was fairly nice and made it through some rough dry weather. i watered, but i could have watered more. the second crop of stuff that filled in the gaps from the first planting's germination failure had bunches of rain and had lots of ears much like yours. i attributed it to poor pollination as the fill-in plants were scattered throughout the patch and probably had a hard time getting pollen. another possibility in my situation was the japanese beetles. i had several plants that had bunches of beetle munching on the corn silk.

i would try to plant at least six rows wide and keep the rows narrowly spaced. i am thinking 24-28 inches between rows and no more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I guess I'm confused. If I got ears, then didn't they have to get pollinated?
 

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Cindy in NY said:
I guess I'm confused. If I got ears, then didn't they have to get pollinated?
I THINK I've read that each strand of silk is responsible for one kernel of corn. So, if only half of the silks received pollen, only half of the kernels would develop. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I am will come along and tell me if this is correct.
 

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i think each silk pollinates a single kernel...but i may be mistaken.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
mammabooh said:
I THINK I've read that each strand of silk is responsible for one kernel of corn. So, if only half of the silks received pollen, only half of the kernels would develop. Perhaps someone more knowledgeable than I am will come along and tell me if this is correct.
Okay - so how do you do the hand pollination?
 

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I do not appreciate you posting pictures of my corn. :flame:

I won't disagree with pollination but I know water was an issue for me; I underestimated just how dry it was and didn't supplement much. Hey, I'm very stubborn about making my plants "tough it out"; obviously, that doesn't always work. My 1st sweet corn patch started tassling at about 2 1/2' and has few ears--none of any size. (The 2nd doesn't look much better!) The 8 Blue Hopi plants started about a week earlier (rainier) grew 9'+ tall and produced 2 large full ears on most stalks. (Yes, they're separated though I'm not sure it really matters; there wasn't enough pollen on that poor midget corn to do much of anything.)
 

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Cindy in NY said:
Okay - so how do you do the hand pollination?
The way I'd try doing it is to take a soft brush...something like an artists brush. Load it with pollen from the tassel that's at the top of the corn plant, and then brush the pollen on the brush softly and thoroughly against the top of the silk strands.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Sorry katydidonce! I wish this wasn't my corn!

Thanks moonwolf! I have some developing ears so I'll try that tomorrow.
 
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