Corn Blown Over

SgtKarl(7)June 13, 2011

Due to the wonderful, ha, 70 mph winds we had my 2' high corn is now blown over to a 45 degree angle. I do not think that it will straighten up itself. Is it a total loss or is there anything that I can do? My only idea was soaking the soil to soupy mud consistency and trying to straighten the stalks and roots. I do not have a lot of corn but would like to save what I have. Thanks for any help. Karl

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

Hi Karl,

I'm sorry to hear about your corn. This is a very common problem here in Oklahoma "where the wind comes sweepin' down the plain...." as noted in the song "Oklahoma!".

When my corn has lodged like this in the past, I have straightened it up several different ways. Here's some options, all of which have worked for me:

1) Leave it alone and let it straighten up on its own. Sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn't. If it doesn't straighten up on its own though, you're better off coming back and straightening it up in a few days. If the corns' ears or silks are touching the ground, you're better off getting them up off the soil as soon as possible.

2) Straighten it up yourself one stalk at a time. If your ground is even moderately moist, you don't have to soak it. Just stand in a row and straighten up each stalk by grabbing the corn down near the ground (grab it too high up on the stalk and the stalk may snap) and straighten it up. After I have straightened up a stalk I place my feet on either side of the stalk and and press down on the soil around the stalk to firm down the soil. When I'm done with the whole corn patch, I water for a few minutes with a hand held hose, concentrating on wetting the ground and not the stalks. This helps push any loose soil down around the roots and fill any air pockets near the roots that might have been left there by the blowing over and straightening up of the plants.

3) Sometimes if you have leaning corn and two people available, you can line up on either end of one row with a rope stretched between the two people. Line up the rope alongside a row of corn plants and have the two people pull slowly in unison to pull a whole row of corn plants back up into a more upright position. Then firm down the soil around the plants to ensure their stability.

If your corn's ears had already formed and had been pollinated and fertilized, you could leave the plants alone and they would be fine since the corn would be near maturity. However, if the corn stalks are leaning over and fertilization has not yet been completed, the angle of the plants can prevent the pollen from drifting down from the tassels to the silks like it should, so in that case, it is always better to straighten it up.

Lodging doesn't usually hurt your crop too much. In some stormy summers, I've had the same corn plants blown over 3 or 4 times and I straightened them up each time and still got the same harvest as usual.

Hope this helps.

Remember, too, that we get a second chance with corn in the fall garden.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 9:04AM
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Speaking of the fall garden Dawn, I have some sugar dots seed left over. When would be a good time to plant them?

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 11:35AM
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Thank you for your time, information, and advice. I am one who always believes that there is a solution to everything, we just have to find it. And thanks for reminding me about fall gardening.


    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 1:37PM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7


Check the Sequential Planting Schedule that is linked below. When you look at the schedule, remember the earlier date is for those further north in OK, and the later date is for those further south.


You're welcome. Hope the corn straightens up nicely for you.

I just harvested 75 ears of early corn today, and still have mid-season corn and late-season corn in the ground. Despite the heat and drought, our early corn performed really well and we managed to keep the raccoons out of most of it.


Here is a link that might be useful: Sequential Schedule for Summer-Fall Plantings

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 6:42PM
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