Sweet Corn Producing Small Cobs - Knowledgebase Question

Van Nuys, CA
Avatar for k55
Question by k55
June 14, 2000
This is my third yearly attempt at sweet corn and still not much luck. This spring I changed their location and I have planted them with organic compost. I thought that would do the trick but they again have only reached the height of 4 feet and the cobs are only about 3 inches long. I have not opened them but i would not be suprised to see them with scattered kernels/ This happens to me each year. What do sweet corn need to proivide to produce a healthy crop in the way of soil, sun, etc?

Answer from NGA
June 14, 2000
If the kernels fail to fill out, it's due to poor pollination. Since corn is wind-pollinated, you'll have better pollination if the plants are in blocks rather than rows. Be sure your corn gets all day sunshine and plenty of water. You can topdress with additional compost, or feed with diluted fish-based fertilizer to help keep them growing well. Corn can't compete with weeds so hand pull any that appear, but don't cultivate the soil around the stalks or you'll injure the roots. Water deeply once each week (about one-inch of water should do it). Hope you have a great harvest!

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