The Q&A Archives: Unfilled Corn Ears

Question: The ears of my corn are missing half their kernals. What can I do?

Answer: It sounds as if the ears are not being pollinated completely. Corn is usually planted in "hills" or groups of about a half dozen plants, or in blocks that are at least four rows deep rather than one lone single row. This helps the wind pollinate the corn. You can help too, by shaking the stalks when the corn tassels are full of pollen to help transfer pollen grains from the tassels of one corn stalk to the silks of another. Each individual silk is connected to a single developing kernal, and if that silk doesn't receive pollen the corresponding kernal won't develop.

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