The Q&A Archives: Handpollination Of Sweet Corn

Question: I have a small garden and have always gotten poor kernal development and small ears. A recent article I read said this could be due to the size of my crop and that hand pollination might correct this. How do I hand polinate corn?

Answer: As soon as pollen begins to spill from the tassles, cut off one or two and use them just like dusters, gently dragging them over the silks protruding from the ears. There are two silks attached to each potential kernel inside the ear. A pollen grain must travel down each silk in order for a kernel to mature. By cutting the tassles off and shaking them above, or dusting them over the silks, pollen should be able to travel to the kernels. Hope you have a terrific harvest!

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