manual pollenation of garden corn

Thread starter #1
I had to plant sweet corn in the garden this year, but do not have the space for multiple rows or blocks. I understand that wind pollenation may not be effective enough. Can I shake pollen from tassels and apply to silks? Will there be enough pollen from a few tassels to do this or will I need to find another source for sweet corn pollen?
Thanks
 

crackerdave

Woody`s Campfire Gathering Organizer
My wife is from "corn country" and she said when they were kids,farmers would pay them to walk down the rows with a stick in each hand.They would whack the stalks to make the pollen fall on the plants.
You'll still have corn with just a single row,but the ears might not be quite as well filled out as with multiple rows.Each strand of silk feeds a kernel of corn. Beware of the dreaded corn-borer,which eats its way into the ear of corn from the tassel end. Mr. Vernon,what's the best thing to prevent or kill corn-borers?
 
Sevin works (dust or spray). Care must be taken to get complete coverage on the silks. Timing is very crucial. Once the worm works its way into the tip of the ear, the sevin will not penetrate the shuck and get to the worm.

The idea is to utilize the sevin as a preventative measure. The idea is to apply the first treatment when the silks appear to be mature. Follow with a second treatment a week later.

Spraying has become such a task for me that I have decided to cope with the worms in another manner. Whoever eats the most corn, eats the most worms. The way it usually works out for me, when the corn is in its prime, the worms have barely began to work on the tip of the cob. When I shuck the ear, I simply cut about one inch off the tip and this will remove the worm(s). Works for me.

It takes great volume of pollen to adequately polinate corn. One row simply will not provide sufficient pollen to get the job done. I have never tried to hand polinate since I have found it best to plant at least four rows per planting.

Since you only have one row, it would be an interesting experiment to give it a try. Watch for the various bees to begin to work on the tassels in earnest. This will indicate that the pollen is in its prime. Gently cut the tassel off above the top leaves and sprinkle closely and directly on the silks.

We would be interested to know how this works for you
 
I tried this years ago, and it worked (have not planted corn in a while).

I took a squeeze bottle of mineral oil and squirted some into the tip of each ear.

Then I got lazy (no disrespect intended) and tried Mr. Holt's method. In the words of the the great philosopher, Josey Wales, "Worms got to eat".

I also use Dipel on my tomato plants, and I would put some of the corn. I can't scientifically tell you that it worked, but it made me feel better.
 

crackerdave

Woody`s Campfire Gathering Organizer
I tried this years ago, and it worked (have not planted corn in a while).

I took a squeeze bottle of mineral oil and squirted some into the tip of each ear.

Then I got lazy (no disrespect intended) and tried Mr. Holt's method. In the words of the the great philosopher, Josey Wales, "Worms got to eat".

I also use Dipel on my tomato plants, and I would put some of the corn. I can't scientifically tell you that it worked, but it made me feel better.
My wife's grandaddy swore by the mineral oil.I guess it'd be good if you didn't have too many ears to squirt!:)

I used to use a lot of Sevin dust,but since I realized that bees get it on their legs and take it to the hive during pollinating time,I only use Sevin spray. I heard a theory that the dust form of Sevin is one reason there aren't as many wild honeybees as there used to be.Of course,disease and mites are killing them,too.
I remember when I was a kid,every patch of white clover had honeybees all over it,and if you were a barefoot kid,you learned real quick to watch your step!
Sorry for going:offtopic: us old guys tend to ramble!:bounce:
 
We planted 9 rows

each about 75 yards long this year. That outta be enough for the worms and us. Both my dad and I are having health problems this year and corn and tomatoes are easy to take care of so thats what we decided to do. I'll be taking your corn order about the middle of July. (Silver queen, kandy, popcorn, indian, old hickory and illysweet - got em all covered this year). Gees - we're gunna be drowning in the stuff this year - well provided it ever starts raining again.
 
Just came across this thread about pollination.I,ve got a problem in my garden with my green beans aand tomatoes as they are blooming good and I haven,t noticed any bees working them, will thry pollinate by other means or am I up the creek without a paddle? My mother if she was still living would tell me I planted in the wrong sign! and looking back at my planting dates, I did plant in the bowels, and according to her they would bloom their self to death and no fruit. Any ideas? thanks Danny
 
I have planted one row of corn before, about 50ft long. They ended up with corn on the stocks later, but it was not easy tending them untill that time. The rain storms, along with the wind, would knock them flat on the ground. This happened about four or five times that summer. I would help support them with tomato stakes, but then my neighbor told me I could just leave them alone and they would turn back up towards the sun on thier own, and they did, but man was that a sorry looking row of corn by the end of the season !
Later I would grow them in rows about 24inches apart, maybe four rows wide. I had only a limted space in the garden so the rows where not long, but rather more rows, and helped much more with them growing straight and tall. It seemed to help buck the wind. Together they stand, divided they fall. :flag:
 
Thread starter #11
Just an update on the corn. I have been shaking the pollen from the tassels and then sprinkling it onto the silks. I have also given the stalks a little shake every now and then. So far, so good. Silks have been browning and the ears are getting large. Like GAnaturalist said, this makes for a difficult crop to manage. They have been laid to the ground several times. I have picked them up a few times and they've righted themselves. Not a straight stalk in the garden, but it has been interesting. We're looking forward to a decent harvest from this little garden. Thanks for all the advice.
Sam
 
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