Vegetables and Fruit forum: Help with Corn

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Name: Jared Nicholes
Nampa, Idaho
Feb 4, 2016 6:27 PM CST

I was in the middle of planning my garden on paper for May this year, and I had a question. Two years ago, I planted corn in a 4' X 4' garden box. It actually went really well except for one thing. When it was harvest time and it was ripe for picking, we picked it and unwrapped it, and to our surprise, 1/7 of the kernels, mostly on the top, didn't form! I want to try to make sure this doesn't happen this year, so what happened and how can I prevent it?


Name: Dillard Haley
Augusta Georgia (Zone 8a)
Garden Ideas: Master Level Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Feb 4, 2016 7:12 PM CST
It is not an uncommon occurance. Usual cause is lack of nutrition and or water causing the plant to stress. Might be too many plants for the area.Modern corn can grow at a high density, but it requires large amounts of water and nutrients. Remember that before extensive fertilization and irrigation we grew our corn at 42 x42 inch spacings and still got short ears during drought years.
Name: Lori Bright
San Luis Obispo, California (Zone 7a)
Vegetable Grower Roses Cottage Gardener Lover of wildlife (Black bear badge) Keeps Goats
Feb 5, 2016 4:09 AM CST
A couple of thoughts: Certainly be sure that the corn has had enough time to completely develop. I would try a corn with a short maturity. Stress such as what Farmer Dill mentioned could stifle them. If it was poorly pollinated then you would have a smattering of kernels formed, if that was the case you can fix it by either growing a larger block and/or do some hand pollination on the external plants.

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