Time isolation of corn

athagan(z9a N/C Fl)April 11, 2005

I'm growing out some Hickory King yellow dent this year, but I also have two other dent corn varieties in the freezer that are getting old and need planting out - Truckers Favorite yellow dent and a white dent heirloom from local sources. All three are Deep South types corns with approximately 100-110 day maturities.

Would I be safe giving each variety a thirty day difference in planting dates to isolate them from cross pollinating or would I be taking too much of a chance? I live in North Florida so the growing season is pretty long.


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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Thirty days sounds fine, but I have a suggestion I learned from a Texas A&M professor: plant by the height of the early corn (10" - 12"), not by the calendar.

Here in zone 7, I have to space my early and mid-season corn plantings really carefully, as the mid-season corn will grow faster (since the soil and climate have warmed up) and can "catch up" with my early corn. To get around that, instead of planting "by the calendar", I plant a second planting of corn when the plants from the first planting are 10" to 12" tall. It always works for me.

Keep in mind that corn needs to tassel and silk before daytime temperatures average much above 90 degrees, as the heat can render the pollen sterile.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 1:59PM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

Thanks Dawn. Planting the second one by the height of the first one makes sense. We're having something of a cool spring this year here in Florida (more or less) so this sounds like a good thing.


    Bookmark   April 12, 2005 at 3:15PM
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How'd your corn do?

I was thinking of growing some heirloom corns down here, a little south of you (DeLand), but I've found it difficult to find suggested varieties for anything but sweetcorn. What varieties have worked well for you? Have you tried any pop corns?

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 1:06PM
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athagan(z9a N/C Fl)

The varieties I'm working with are Hickory King and Truckers Favorite, both yellow types. The white versions of these two varieties are the more common. Both should do well for you. Both are fairly easy to find in their white versions, R.H. Shumway has them.

Haven't tried popcorn yet.

It's been a tough year for corn growing. Got an excellent stand in the Truckers but the Hickory King the squirrels devastated twice. I've got enough Hickory survivors from the two plantings to make a minimal stand, but I'll have to supplement any seed I save to avoid inbreeding depression.

The weather has been so wet this year that I'll probably have to artificially dry the mature ears to avoid mold. Sure done a number on my cucurbits already.


    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 4:35PM
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I'll start with those two then. How'd you choose them? I've been searching for a guide to suggested varieties of heirloom vegetables for Florida, but haven't had much luck. MacCubbin and Stephens list some heirlooms for other vegetables, but not corn that I know of. I'm also interested in trying some of the open-pollinated heirloom sweet corns, but again since I can't find a guide for Florida I don't know where to start.

Do you make meal out of these dent types? I keep reading in heirloom vegetable books that "old timers" like to eat dent corn in the milk stage roasted. (Seems like they always slip in that "Old timers.") Makes me wonder what it tastes like.

Did the timing by height technique work out?

Sorry to hear about the squirrels.

    Bookmark   July 12, 2005 at 6:04PM
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DerbyTas(NE Tas)

Hi Guys
Another thing you can do to prevent pollen contamination is to go along the old corn rows as the new corn var. is about to open up the tassles and cut the tassels off all the plants (in the old var. patch)and so prevent any late pollen from blowing around
How many plants are you growing of each variety Alan

    Bookmark   July 15, 2005 at 1:34AM
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rosieo(7 NC)

This thread has a couple of great tips. Thanks.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2010 at 12:35PM
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wiringman(ZONE 4)


this might help.

last year i had ripe corn 45 days after the last frost. i started my corn in the green house and let it get one foot tall and then transplanted it in the garden. i didn't lose one plant. that gave me ripe corn 30 days ahead of every one else around here.

this might be a way to time isolate your corn.


    Bookmark   March 30, 2010 at 1:35AM
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good day all.
i'm new to the site but i must confess that this thread is quite educative. i am working on using maize transplants as a means to manage inadequate water availability in my locality. is there anyone who has tried transplanting maize on a medium- large scale or with information that can help me?

    Bookmark   August 22, 2013 at 11:49PM
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Corn does not usually do well as a transplant. The problem is with the primary root the seed produces. If that primary root is disrupted or broken, then the production potential of the plant is cut significantly. I have used transplants so long as the seedlings were only a few inches tall grown in cell trays or if grown in 4 inch pots, they can be up to a foot tall.


    Bookmark   August 23, 2013 at 3:29PM
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