The Q&A Archives: Reasons for Short Corn

Question: No matter what kind of corn I plant, each year I get short corn with very small ears. Am I lacking something in the soil? It gets plenty of light and doesn't seem to be related to amount of water. Also, last year my telephone peas grew beautifully to the top of my fence .. but died from the bottom up before the peas had a chance to mature. Thanks. Nannette Richford Springfield, ME

Answer: Your corn may need more nitrogen fertilizer. Corn loves nitrogen so add lots of composted manures in spring and sidedress the corn with 10-10-10 when it's 4' high and again at tasseling to stimulate large ears to grow. Your peas probably had powdery mildew last year that caused them to dieback. It was cool and wet in early summer and powdery mildew loves those conditions.

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