Why can't I grow corn??

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by TxCloverAngel, Jun 18, 2006.

  1. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    My garden is doing well
    Have more tomatoes than I can eat
    lots of wonderful green beans
    cukes
    squash
    peppers
    melons
    etc etc etc...

    But...
    for the second year in a row now..
    I have planted corn (this year Kandy Corn Hybrid)
    they plants come up very nice
    healthy
    no bugs
    but they seen to mature and the silk dries before the ears are full sized.
    when I open up a husk there seems to be nothing wrong.. they are just way to small. This year they got to about 1/2 the size of full-grown. The last year, they were only about 4" long.

    What am I doing wrong??
     
  2. moonwolf

    moonwolf Well-Known Member

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    I'd try a different variety, such as a larger ear type like Illini or one of the Su super sweet gene hybrids.
    Sweet corn is a heavy feeder and benefits with decent moisture levels during ear formation. The balanced fertilizer needs good absorbsion, so if it's granular, you need enough moisture for the roots to benefit from taking nutrient that is dissolved in the soil they access. Sometimes if you can do it, foliar spray with a dilute ferilizer can help if very hot and dry, but drip irrigation would be the best if you can do that.
    Your corn will only benefit from the input it's given. It sounds like there isn't enough 'input' that is causing you half growth. That input is probably not enough available nutrient. Soil test for deficiencies and go from there.
     

  3. Queen Bee

    Queen Bee Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It might be a pollination problem..Do you have lots of bees? Corn needs lots of nitrogen. If You have lots of bees, try adding nitrogen to your soil..
     
  4. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    hmmmm it has been pretty dry here, I do water the corn when I water everything else. But it might not be enough.
    Would you suggest a soaker hose and water daily?
    I didnt realize corn needed much more water than say a tomato.

    Did the soil test thing. they told me everything was fine. (insisted soil was tested before I had it delivered and made into raised beds)

    I did spray it w/ Miracle grow a few times...and there is lots of composted manure in the soil... is that good for it?

    Geesh I am pretty corn dumb lol
     
  5. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    you know QB?? come to think of it this year.. I really havent seen as many bee's as usual.. will keep an eye out for them and see.
     
  6. gilberte

    gilberte Well-Known Member Supporter

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    How are you planting your corn? If you are planting one or two single rows the corn will not pollinate well, it does better in four or more rows or blocks.
     
  7. MahemMary

    MahemMary Well-Known Member

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    TexasCloverAngel, I think you are in my area - outside Centerville, TX - for the first time ever I have corn - Kandi Korn - more than I know what to do with. Since this is the first time ever I will tell you what I found out but I am in no way an expert.

    Kandi Korn is to superb tasting - love to roast it in the oven. We did the Three Sisters - corn surrounded by beans and sqaush - all 3 doing well.

    We ( my DH Chuckhole) and I found that the sugar sand in our area does not support the corn stalks when a bad storm comes thru so we put a cage around the stalks - similar to a tomato cage but taller - we used wire mesh fencing - the beans are growng up the wire mesh fence.

    We also got the manure from Monterey Mushrooms out of Madisonville - I do not know how far you are from them - $12 overflowed our 14 ft trailer - we are weekenders so we try and water at least 1 inch a week by soaker hose (unless God waters first). Also, I was going to hand fertilize the corn (I have an article if you want) but I think planting several rows together was the trick. My corn did have a few worms and some bugs - I think I should have sprayed - but the ears turned out fine except for the tips of the corn - the tips didn't fill out.

    I will try and find the link to Three Sisters if you would like.

    We picked 3 dozen ears of corn yesterday - first weekend for corn, not too may beans (we are a little disappointed in the beans) and we are on a squash diet right now since so many sqaush - people are advoiding us on the squash.
     
  8. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    Well howdy Mary! Welcome to HT!

    I'm not too terribly far from you!. (Bout 40 miles NE of Houston )
    and I do know the mushroom plant well, I have family in Teague.. can't forget that smell :)

    I think my problem is indeed pollination. I planted them 3 rows deep. And I did the 3-sisters thing too. This is my first year doing raised garden beds... I'm thinkin I need to make a circle or block one for corn next year.

    But.. I guess it doesn't matter too much.. The bad storms we had go through here lastnight blew them over! grrrr I would have REALLY been upset if it was good corn! lol so, I guess its a good thing.
     
  9. WisJim

    WisJim Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Corn is wind pollinated, not by bees, so the number of bees that you have in the area should make no difference.
     
  10. MahemMary

    MahemMary Well-Known Member

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    TxCloverAngel, yes my garden on Sunday morning was completely smashed - corn on its' side everywhere - that is when we put up the fences around the corn.

    My DH Chuckhole says if you have corn ears they are pollenating - perhaps it is the watering. Also, he just said he thinks the ears on the Kandi Korn appear to be small - don't know if I picked them too soon - they were still really really good. I am going to try and find a Texas A & M website on corn.
     
  11. MahemMary

    MahemMary Well-Known Member

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    TxCloverAngel, in rereading your original email I think your ears are turning out about like mine so we are in the same boat. I am going to Goggle for the TA&M website here shortly.

    Yes, I am home today due to the flooding in Houston - can't get out my driveway -altho the water is subsiding - more on the way my friend tells me.

    Does it seem we get the water all at once?
     
  12. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    Well Mary...
    This IS Texas.. where we do everything big! lol
    we dont have dry days.. we have drought....
    we dont get a little rain.. we get FLOODS! lol

    I just sent my county extension office an e-mail too. we'll see what they say
     
  13. Twogun

    Twogun Zone 5

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    Corn needs cultivation or mulching to keep the soil from crusting over, it allows the water to get to the roots easier.

    An aside: Any of your relation in Teague work for the RR. I was a dispatcher for the old FWD some 25years ago. I never got to meet many of them personally, but talked to them over the radio and Disp. fone on a regular basis.
     
  14. Lynne

    Lynne Well-Known Member

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    Here on the east coast, not as sandy I would think; corn needs at least an inch of rain a week to produce and should be planted in blocks not single rows. When the corn is in tassle and the silk starts to come on walk through the rows and shake the stalks to aid with pollination. My understanding is that the silk carries the pollen to the kernels for development.
     
  15. TxCloverAngel

    TxCloverAngel Happiness is Homemade

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    one side of the family was big in the RR's (Donn & Joe Allison?) Lots of Allisons were in the RR. ring a bell?
     
  16. Twogun

    Twogun Zone 5

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    Yes, I remember the name. Allisons were in a bunch of ol'timers along with; Wylie, Nanny, West, Terry.There are so many more , but I think I might have a touch of Allzheimers (sp) that I aplogize that I can't remember without really racking my brain . LOL