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  #51  
Old 07-08-2009, 09:44 PM
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Whitey4 Whitey4 is offline
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No, I don't have to do any hand pollinating. Luckily in the rural environment that I am in, we have plenty of pollinators. Unfortunately the J. Beetle will do some pollinating as it destroys plants, and we've got plenty of them.

That kinda makes me chuckle a little when I here of people buying already growing sweet corn, and occasionally you see someone selling them in Bloomington. It's just bred into me as a farm-boy that you poke a hole and stick a corn kernel in the ground.

The odds of a good crop out of 4 plants isn't very good, even if you hand pollinate. Corn pollinates mainly from gravity. If you go out during a light breeze you can see the pollen cloud fall from the tassels. A grain of pollen must hit each individual silk in order to form a kernel of corn. It's got to stink living in a large metro area and having lack of pollinators in the city. So you'll probably have to hand pollinate. I would go out on an extremely calm day, and either break or bend the tassel closer to the silks and shake it.

Next year (and I know you have a micro-garden) you could actually clump grow 3-4 plants in the same hole and do four clumps and you might have better results. There has been studies on clump growing sorghum,(rather than rows) and it increased the yields by 35% or so. Corn didn't yield more than 5% increase in clumps, but you might be able to get good results and save room. The clumps also helped keep the tillers from forming.

Don't worry Whitey, I'll send you some good seeds to try next year.

You might also try the "three sisters" too. Native Americans grew corn, with a pole bean climbing them and a squash on the ground. The squash acts like a mulch, the pole beans have a place to climb, and the beans fix nitrogen for the corn. In your case, you could do a bush cucumber that doesn't grow too big instead of squash.

In my garden I have 6 rows, 30 inch rows and 10 inch spacing. I probably could have planted them in 6-8 inch spacings, but I over-planted my corn last year and had bad results so I'm a little gun-shy. I also had to pull about 2-3 tillers(suckers) growing at the base of each plant and pull of 1-2 extra ears on each stalk. I'm trying to make sure the energy goes into one ear.

2 rows are a Sun gold variety- short in height, short growing season (60 days), and I'll have ears to eat in about 5 days. Heard it's not very good though, but we'll see.

2 rows are an Illini Supersweet. It's the tallest so far at 7 feet. Short-Mid length in growing season at 80 days. Has tassels and silks just starting to show.

The last two rows are an Ambrosia. Med-Long season at 100 days, but already at the same maturity of the Supersweet (go figure). Everyone raves about the Ambrosia and is the most popular variety grown around here.

Ultimately the more stalks you get the better odds are for producing ears in the garden. Unfortunately sweet corn can give you mixed result, even in the farm fields. I always figure 15%-25% loss. Luckily, living in the Midwest, even if my crop is junk, I can go to about 20 different sweet corn stands and pick up farmer grown. Not as good as the garden will produce, but way better than store bought.

Dang Whitey, you got me on a rant about corn.
Pretty good rant, as rants go!

From my readings.... they say forget the suckers, they won't hurt yield... mind you, just reading stuff on the net from a myriad of sources.

I also read that different varieties should not be planted together, as cross pollination can result in lower quality and in some cases, less sweet corn that what might be expected, like the super sweets.

I've had some of my hot pepper plants cross pollinate, and the hybrid variety was only evident in the next generation of harvested seed... and resulted in lower yields, although some of the hybrid peppers were interesting.... I have this very rare pepper... called a Calico, similar to Bolivian Rainbows, cross pollinate with a Habenero. Poor fruit production from the hybrid seeds, but it did learn me some about plant spacing... those Calico seeds are rare, and I want to keep a pure strain going.

Again, just stuff I read, so I'm certainly not saying anything but what a parrot might!
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  #52  
Old 07-08-2009, 09:46 PM
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PS: If I get just two or three ears, good ones, I figure it's a successful experiment!
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  #53  
Old 07-09-2009, 12:22 AM
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Pretty good rant, as rants go!

From my readings.... they say forget the suckers, they won't hurt yield...

cross pollination can result in lower quality and in some cases, less sweet corn that what might be expected.

those Calico seeds are rare, and I want to keep a pure strain going.
I've always been told to at least get rid of the suckers. This year I've made more of an effort to take care of each plant instead of the whole crop. So far removing the suckers has seemed to pay off as the ears on my second two varieties seem way larger than they ever have in the past. I don't know if there is a direct correlation, as my spacing is also better this year too. I really don't know for sure, but my spidy senses told me to pull the suckers.

I've never notice any difference in the initial yield from cross pollination. I would suspect (such in your case with the Calico pepper) that you would see dramatic results in the crop of the first generation planted after the initial cross.

I was also hoping that my varieties were far enough apart to help prevent cross-pollination, but that probably didn't happen.
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  #54  
Old 07-09-2009, 10:39 PM
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I've always been told to at least get rid of the suckers. This year I've made more of an effort to take care of each plant instead of the whole crop. So far removing the suckers has seemed to pay off as the ears on my second two varieties seem way larger than they ever have in the past. I don't know if there is a direct correlation, as my spacing is also better this year too. I really don't know for sure, but my spidy senses told me to pull the suckers.

I've never notice any difference in the initial yield from cross pollination. I would suspect (such in your case with the Calico pepper) that you would see dramatic results in the crop of the first generation planted after the initial cross.

I was also hoping that my varieties were far enough apart to help prevent cross-pollination, but that probably didn't happen.
Again, just from reading, the super sweets "they" say can be less sweet if they get cross pollinated. Cross pollination won't mean lower yields, just less sweet corn from varities like the super sweet. I haven't read that sucker removal can't hurt anything, just that is makes no diff, so if you think it helps, I'll go with that and remove them.

Yup, the cross pollinated pepper plants had no visable signs of having been cross pollinated, it only showed up in the next generation. The bummer there was that there was no way to tell which plant strains were comprimised until the plants fruited. No tell tale signs based on leave development or growth, etc. The first sign was slightly fewer flowers, but even that wasn't a good indicator, as flower drop with no fruit was the real yield killer, aside from the fact the fruit itself was not what I wanted from this very unique hot pepper strain.

This year my Calicos are well away from my other pepper plants.... you like hot peppers? These are not killer hot... hot but a wonderful flavor. I've had some jalepenos that were much hotter... maybe a seed swap next year? Some of my Calico seeds for your corn? They are tropicals.... so if you want yield, you need to start them in a controlled environment, they like heat and sun. Sow them like corn.... and get nuthin. You might get some peppers, but the seeds won't be developed enough to plant the following year.


ok.... stupid Q.... are those tinny little hairs the beginning of silk on my corn? The plants are about 3 foot now... tassels, some fine hairs at the nodes, but nothing else I can observe as yet. I'm thinkin I'm gonna get some of the tiny corns in Chinese food...!
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  #55  
Old 07-10-2009, 02:56 AM
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(A.) Again, just from reading, the super sweets "they" say can be less sweet if they get cross pollinated. Cross pollination won't mean lower yields, just less sweet corn from varities like the super sweet. I haven't read that sucker removal can't hurt anything, just that is makes no diff, so if you think it helps, I'll go with that and remove them.

(B.) This year my Calicos are well away from my other pepper plants.... you like hot peppers? These are not killer hot... hot but a wonderful flavor. I've had some jalepenos that were much hotter... maybe a seed swap next year? Some of my Calico seeds for your corn? They are tropicals.... so if you want yield, you need to start them in a controlled environment, they like heat and sun. Sow them like corn.... and get nuthin. You might get some peppers, but the seeds won't be developed enough to plant the following year.


(C.) ok.... stupid Q.... are those tinny little hairs the beginning of silk on my corn? The plants are about 3 foot now... tassels, some fine hairs at the nodes, but nothing else I can observe as yet. I'm thinkin I'm gonna get some of the tiny corns in Chinese food...!
A.) To me, in the garden especially, I feel that too much energy gets expended into the suckers. About the time the suckers are using energy to tassel and produce baby corn, then the main ear on the corn is just starting to mature or "fill" out as my grandfather used to say. Sometimes I wonder if the suckers interfere with pollination if they are as tall as the ears that are on the main stalk.

I grew up with field sweet corn. Usually 6-8 rows, about 60 to 100 yards long. Always planted on the edge of the corn field, so it always received the same treatment as the field corn. It isn't nearly as sweet or tender as the corn you yield from the garden. My scale is; 2 for store bought, 7 for farmer grown, and 10 for the garden grown sweet corn. So when it comes down to it, if my super-sweet variety isn't as sweet, then it's negligible to what flavor you achieve. It's also kinda laughable now that field corn is round-up ready, and you can't spray the sweetcorn like they used to with a selective herbicide. The crop services are now coming in and hand spraying the patches to not kill the sweet corn. My dad has just about given up, especially when the dear and raccoons go after it.

B.) I love hot peppers. I used to work at a fusion cooking restaurant and fell in love with the Serrano pepper. Not too hot after taking out the seeds and pith out, and the "green" heat flavor is phenomenal. We'll definitively have to do a seed swap. Most of my pepper plants are bought at 4-6 inches in height from one of the local nurseries, so I don't direct sow pepper plants. The only things I directly sow are beans, corn, potatoe eyes, lettuce, and radishes. The onions, tomatoes, pepper, and cucumbers are all established plants. I have a grow light in the basement and a hand made cold frame to help harden them off for the out doors. The cold frame is pretty cool, I'll have to get it set up again and take pics. It's made from old windows and has an automatic opener for the center panel.

Last year was a bad year as the temps were too low to really ripen my peppers. I'm afraid the same thing might happen this year too.

C.) Yes, those are the silks. They'll get bigger and bigger as the silks grow outward and the ear gets bigger. The silks will do their thing and then wilt to a brown color. After that happens you'll have about 2-4 weeks before the kernels fill out completely. To figure out if the ears are ready to harvest, pull back a little of the husk on the ear and take a look at the kernels at the end of the ear to see if they are yellow and full (unless it's a white variety). Don't pull too much back as you can push the husk back over if it's still not mature.

Dang, so much talk about sweetcorn makes me want to do a midnight raid on the garden.
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  #56  
Old 07-10-2009, 08:32 AM
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These Calicos are a custom engineered hybrid... they were being shown at an arboretum here, designed by some specialty seed outfit near the Hamptons. At the end of the season, a friend of mine saw them thrown into a compost heap at the arboretum. He swiped a few peppers and saved some seeds. The arboretum people had no problem with that, but I wonder if the seed company would be happy about it... in any case...

It's considered an ornamental, but does have a nice yield. Purplish leaves, dark puprle fruit, about an inch long, and they get "streaked" as they ripen... hence the name, like a calico cat. They do pretty well in 12" pots, but the bigger the pot, the better.

Just this morning, I can see the first ear of corn developing.
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  #57  
Old 07-14-2009, 08:54 PM
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Japanese Beetles, 2009

Here's some pics of this years feeding and mating season. I really almost compare it to a swarm of locust that come year after year after year.........

Up close pics are a Rose Of Sharon. The poor thing doesn't have a chance to bloom.

The two, almost defoliated trees are cherry trees.

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  #58  
Old 07-18-2009, 04:17 PM
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2 years later

This is of my first larger/detailed install done 2 years ago.

Here is the link to the original pics of the property when I first started.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=231121

The HO had gotten behind on maintenance and called me back to do some work. I should have taken some before pics, but didn't think it was going to be as involved as it turned out.

In the back yard was the main priority. The end of the walkway was overgrown with brush so I cut out about 2 yards of weed trees and weeds along the fence in the backyard. Also in the back was a playground area. The area also had 45 feet of 6 X 6 pressure treated lumber retaining the dirt in the playground. The area also had about 400 square feet of landscape fabric. The roots from the Maple trees had anchored it to the ground, so it was horrible ripping up. Luckily it came up in sections and not pieces.

The landscape timbers were installed correctly, so they were a bear to get out of the ground. I used a 4 foot tire iron with a brick for a fulcrum point. The 6 X 6's were one on top of the other, nailed together with 10 inch spikes, overlapped, and had 3/4 inch, 4 foot long pieces of re-bar anchoring them to the ground.

I then tilled and graded the area, pulling large surface roots from the trees, and then laid a pallet of sod. The back yard isn't perfect, but he wanted it to be semi-temporary as he wants to add on to the back of the house and bury the utility lines. So ultimately it isn't a perfect grade/sod job. I also added in the Hostas around the edges. They came in 5 gallon pots.

The rest of the yard, including the front got a pruning/mulch/weeding/ and hedge trimming.
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  #59  
Old 07-18-2009, 04:21 PM
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Here is the pics of the work done around the 4th of July. Took me 5 days total, with a couple of short days.

I tried to set the pics up in succession as if you were walking to the front to the back and to the front again.

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Old 07-18-2009, 04:23 PM
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More Pics.

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