Ask a Question forum: Corn Cross Pollination

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San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a)
Greenlady
Aug 23, 2016 11:35 AM CST
About a week and a half ago I planted two types of sweet corn in my small home garden. I knew I was taking a chance but I was under the impression that although they will cross pollinate, the corn would still be edible because they are both sweet varieties. Now after doing some reading today I am second guessing myself. The two varieties are 'peaches n cream' and 'golden beauty'. I don't care about keeping true traits but I was hoping for edible corn. Was I wrong to assume that cross pollinated sweet corn could possibly be delicious?!
Name: Philip Becker
Fresno California (Zone 8a)
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Philipwonel
Aug 23, 2016 11:56 AM CST
I dont believe u half to worry.being there both sweet corns! Hay! U might come up with a new hybird !!! 😎 what to do! What to do!!!😕😄### plant 1 vatiety dat takes 70 days to mature and 1 dat takes90 days. You get longer harvest. 😎😎😎
DATS ME !!!
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Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Aug 23, 2016 11:58 AM CST
Welcome! to NGA

You may be in trouble but inedible corn is the worst case scenario. Usually, each corn plant pollinates its close neighbors so some of your corn should be what you planted, even in a small plot.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
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RickCorey
Aug 23, 2016 12:28 PM CST
I didn't realize that the pollen parent affected the taste of the kernels in the very first generation. I thought the effect of those pollen genes was only seen in the next generation (when the cross-pollinated F2 kernels are planted and grow into F2 plants). I might be wrong.

P.S. Both of those are hybrid corn varieties, so even if you only grew one of them, it's offspring would still be genetically diverse and probably highly variable in appearance and taste.
San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a)
Greenlady
Aug 23, 2016 12:29 PM CST
Thank You! I think I'll stick with it. If anything, the corn will be my stakes for my pole beans Sticking tongue out
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Aug 23, 2016 12:40 PM CST
I guess that the pollen parent DOES affect the taste, toughness and starchiness of the kernels in the first year!
http://garden.org/learn/articles/view/399/

But if your varieties flower on different dates, there won;t be any cross-pollination:

"When one type of corn tassels - letting its pollen loose - that pollen can land on the silks of any corn in the immediate area. If only one variety of corn is silking at any given time, crossing cannot take place. This is usually the case in home gardens, where the varieties planted tend to have significantly different flowering and growing seasons. "
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Aug 23, 2016 2:17 PM CST
There would have to be a 2 week window between flowerings and both those corn varieties are early - 70 to 80 days.
Name: Rick Corey
Everett WA 98204 (Zone 8a)
Sunset Zone 5. Koppen Csb. Eco 2f
I helped beta test the first seed swap Plant and/or Seed Trader Seed Starter Region: Pacific Northwest Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Vegetable Grower
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member
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RickCorey
Aug 23, 2016 4:32 PM CST
Oh, well! Sorry.
Name: Porkpal
Richmond, TX
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Keeper of Poultry Farmer Roses Raises cows
Garden Ideas: Level 2 Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
porkpal
Aug 23, 2016 4:49 PM CST
I'll bet it will be tasty enough no matter who pollinates whom. We used to eat the young field corn we grew for the cows and I thought it was delicious.
Porkpal
Name: Daisy
Reno, Nv (Zone 6b)
Not all who wander are lost
Garden Sages Plant Identifier
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DaisyI
Aug 23, 2016 4:50 PM CST
We did too. And it was delicious. But that was a long time ago when I thought waxpaper would keep my sandwich from getting stale. Smiling
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
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Weedwhacker
Aug 23, 2016 6:54 PM CST
DaisyI said:We did too. And it was delicious. But that was a long time ago when I thought waxpaper would keep my sandwich from getting stale. Smiling


Hilarious! Our perspective is ever changing!
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San Antonio, TX (Zone 9a)
Greenlady
Aug 24, 2016 9:00 AM CST
Thank you everyone for your input!
Name: Sandy B.
Ford River, Michigan UP (Zone 4b)
(Zone 4b-maybe 5a)
Charter ATP Member Celebrating Gardening: 2015 I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! I helped beta test the first seed swap Region: United States of America Region: Michigan
Seed Starter Vegetable Grower Birds Butterflies Dog Lover Cat Lover
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Weedwhacker
Aug 24, 2016 10:25 AM CST
Oh, where are my manners?! *Blush*

Welcome to NGA, @Greenlady !

(incidentally, although most of the garden items that we grow won't be affected by cross pollination until the next generation grown from their seeds, corn is affected because the seeds are what we are eating Smiling )
"Blessed is he who has learned to laugh at himself, for he shall never cease to be entertained."
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/ Share your recipes: Favorite Recipes A-Z cubit
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Minnesota (Zone 3b)
RpR
Aug 24, 2016 11:32 AM CST
Greenlady said:About a week and a half ago I planted two types of sweet corn in my small home garden. I knew I was taking a chance but I was under the impression that although they will cross pollinate, the corn would still be edible because they are both sweet varieties. Now after doing some reading today I am second guessing myself. The two varieties are 'peaches n cream' and 'golden beauty'. I don't care about keeping true traits but I was hoping for edible corn. Was I wrong to assume that cross pollinated sweet corn could possibly be delicious?!

How far apart did you plant them?

You have little to worry about, I have been planting sweet and field corn in the same garden for decades, up to nine varieties in one garden.
The stalks on the edge will be the ones that may show signs of crossing but I have never had sweet corn variety ruined by crossing with another variety of corn.
If you were going to be a seed saver, then you would have to be more careful with crossing problems.

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