Newly planted Corn

nickrosesnMarch 18, 2013

I have a question about a few of my corn plants that have yellow leaves. Why do I have yellow leaves on some plants. The corn was started by seeds in seed starting trays out side on the 21st of February and they started to germinate on the 28th of same month. On the 15th of March I worked in 3cuft of compost and a little bit of gypsum to break up the hard soil. I was going to add some blood meal but thought it would be too much Nitrogen with the compost. Today I noticed some plants had some yellowing.

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thegreatcob

transplant shock. corn likes to be direct seeded.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 6:15PM
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nickrosesn

Does shock mean death of the plant or will they most likely recover?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 6:20PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

If that is what it is they will likely recover. Many folks transplant corn even tho it is normally direct seeded.

But I wouldn't rule out over-watering nor would I restrict the N either (although blood meal needs to be used with care with plants that small). You can't count on compost alone to provide sufficient N, especially not for corn which is N hog.

Compost is primarily a soil amendment, not a plant fertilizer. It is low in nutrients and those nutrients are not available to the plants unless you have a very active soil micro herd. If this is a relatively new bed the herd will be quite small unless you supplement it with beneficial bacteria.

There are several options for organic N supplements for young plants.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 6:30PM
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nickrosesn

If I were to add blood meal to the dirt how much per plant and should I do it now or wait until they recover? I bought a 13-0-0 blood meal.

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 7:24PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I can't tell you how much to use just to be very sparing with it at first as it is easy to burn plants with it, especially at this stage.

Rather than around each plant perhaps a thin side dressing strip between the rows 3-4" out from the side of the plants. Water it in well and then wait and see if they begin to green up well. Then you can add more.

Personally I would pick up one of the organic liquid ferts like fish emulsion or such and give them a well-diluted dose of it rather than the blood meal. Using it at 1/2 strength doesn't risk burning them like blood meal can.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 18, 2013 at 11:34PM
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thegreatcob

digdirt blood meal will not corn where you get this fantasy since it not that strong or fast acting

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 12:18AM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

digdirt blood meal will not corn where you get this fantasy since it not that strong or fast acting

That makes no sense. If what you were trying to say in your usual rude manner is that blood meal burning corn is a fantasy then you are simply wrong.

It can and it does if used too heavily on young plants. Works fine on well established plants but should be used with care on young plants such as these.

There are many articles about this aspect of blood meal available from reputable sources on the web. There are also several past discussions about it happening on the Organic Gardening forum. And I have personal experience with it.

Been there, done that, had the burned corn to prove it.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 10:22AM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

What have your temperatures been Corn needs consistently warm weather. Coolish temps will lead to yellow plants

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 9:12PM
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nickrosesn

Its been in the mid 60's to high 60's. Today and tomorrow we're getting some showers.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2013 at 11:52PM
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nickrosesn

How long should I wait before adding more blood meal? I added about 1tsp per plant a week ago. I did that small amount because I did not want to kill the plants. I have noticed that most of the plants are growing. One of the plants has grown at least 1.5 inches.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2013 at 8:09PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Has their color improved? Turned a good green? What have the night temps been? 60's day temps is low for corn and often means 40's at night and that is just too cold for corn to do well so you may have planted way too early.

Dave

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 10:46AM
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n2xjk

Corn really needs a steady diet of 80 degree days to thrive. Assuming the corn is on the south exposure of the fence shown in the picture, this is a good thing since it will reflect heat back to the corn. I might also suggest when you plant corn again to use black plastic mulch. This holds heat and will help the corn. I would also stick with SU (normal sweet) varieties since they handle cool conditions better than SE and especially SH2 types.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 4:40PM
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nickrosesn

Thanks for the tips. I just remeasured some of the corn today and noticed one of them has actually grown 2" since I started this thread. The night time temps have been mid 40's to low 50's.

Once again should I add a little bit more blood meal since the 1tsp per plant helped and did not burn the plants or should I wait a couple more weeks?

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 9:46PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

Personally I think it is still to cold to push it so I would wait a week or so. But as long as you keep it in small doses with at least weekly spacing it probably can't hurt.

The fear is that once the soil warms up more and the temps warm up into a more normal range it might shoot up too fast and be weak stemmed - been there, done that.

Next year plan on later planting, ok?

Dave

    Bookmark   March 26, 2013 at 10:04PM
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