sweet corn opinion

andy32844July 3, 2013

This is my first time growing sweet corn and I feel like the cold wet weather early in the season here in the thumb of Michigan wasted my sweet corn. I feel like they should be taller and greener for this time of year than they are. Any opinions on what I can do.

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Seems unhealthy even tho I've fertilized it with nitrogen.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 4:41PM
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Should they have tassles growing already?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 4:43PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

They do have tassels. That's the flower on top. Whatever fertilizer you applied wasn't nearly enough. The light green color and small size are indicative of inadequate nitrogen and possibly other nutrients.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 5:16PM
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Is it too late to save these plants?

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 5:36PM
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Try a liquid fertilizer, something with fast takeup.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 5:48PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Yes it's too late for this crop. Once they tassel they're about done expanding their leaves. It takes lots of big leaves to make a big ear. You don't have that and won't this time. Better luck next year.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 8:03PM
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Avocado101(9A Southern California)

Your spacing seems far. How far are they planted? I usually plant them 10 to 12 inches apart, rows at 18 inches to 24. I think it's easier to fertilize when they are planted closely.

Also I found them to grow best when sown directly in ground.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 12:20AM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I agree with Avocado...although my rows are about 28 inches apart...I have plenty of room.

Andy, if your garden is subject to flooding, you could do what I have done. Ridge the rows up pretty good in the fall in preparation for the next years planting.

Also I have raised the gardens by adding 3 inches of medium/coarse sand [no pea gravel] and 4 inches of local sphagnum peat moss. This is all worked well into the top 7 inches of good topsoil. It has made dream soil for me. The sand and peat make a good counterbalance to each other and it works up like a dream all season.

Just yesterday I noticed 3 tomato plants in an area that is rich but wetter and that has not been sand amended. They were a bit wilty because of all the rain..about 2.75 inches just those last 4 days. The other tomato plants are jungly fine.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 1:36PM
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They are planted a foot apart in 18" rows. Should I remove these plants from my garden since they won't produce?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 9:06PM
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That's totally your choice if you want to remove them. Personally if it were me l would pull them and plant some sort of shelling pea in they're place.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2013 at 10:48AM
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mark_roeder(4B IA)

No helpful advice here; like you we were extremely wet until two-three weeks ago. I have a 10' long patch in 4 rows. The past two weeks have been sunny, and our stand is the best in memory. I attribute it to the early rains and recent sun. Did you ever get sun?

Your plants are far apart; mine are about 6" or so (maybe too close) but that is not why your plants are not taller. I usually mix a little composted cow manure in at planting. My soil is sandy loam. We live in Iowa and that doesn't hurt corn.

I plant "That's Delicious" from Henry Field, or "Gotta Have It" which I think is the same variety from sister company Gurney's. I planted two of my rows 10 days earlier, and experienced poor germination with those rows because the soil was cooler when I planted. Since I planted too dense I just removed a few from the rows that were too dense and put them in the two rows that needed more. The earliest planted are actually farther behind in development than the later plants. So don't plant too early when soil is cool!!!

And with the apparent acreage you have there, you could plant serially. If you dug those up now you could replant on July 9 with a short season sweet corn, and hopefully at the end of September have a crop. Otherwise --

I couldn't identify the problem you are having. Sorry.

Short season corn crops:

Gurney's Northern Xtra Sweet Bicolor 67 days.
Gurney's Sweet Corn Quickie 68 days
Gurney's Sweet Corn Sugar Baby 65 days

Not suggesting you go to Gurney's. Dig yours up; go back to a store and get a short season variety. You might still get a crop especially in western Michigan.

This post was edited by mark_roeder on Mon, Jul 8, 13 at 1:24

    Bookmark   July 8, 2013 at 1:19AM
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i grabbed some Burpee early choice hybrid that supposed to be only 66 days to maturity. Got some sprouting on the paper towel im gonna plant and see what happens. Then just direct sow the rest. i also have about 20 or so 6 gallon pails in the garage i might try and give it a go. all ive got for free so i dont have anything to lose. Next year part of the soybean field in the background is probably gonna sweet corn.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 2:46PM
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wayne_5 zone 6a Central Indiana

I think that extra early varieties of corn tend to be disappointing.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2013 at 4:06PM
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