Call the police! The unimaginable has happened!

bob_in_coloradoJune 22, 2013

I grow corn every year. Not just corn, sweet corn. Not just any sweet corn, Mirai 131y. This is the best sweet corn ever, in case you haven't tasted it.

I also grow lots of other things. My neighbor watches every year and laments how he should have gardened and how he meant to garden for his family.

Last year, he built up a little raised bed. I had some extra good dirt that I had brought in. I gave him enough to fill his bed. The garden last year went unused.

This year, he planted some stuff. Carrots, radishes, some leaf lettuce, and corn! Not just corn, but sweet corn! Does he not understand cross-pollination!?! I gave him the frickin' dirt!

I'm tempted to go over into his garden and night in my ninja outfit and spray round-up on his corn, or simply leave a little sign in place of the corn saying they had been abducted by aliens. Perhaps I can cut off the water to his house so he can't irrigate. Maybe I'll accidentally tell him the wrong dosage of fertilizer so his plants burn. Anyone know where I can get a trained bunny? How can I not leave DNA at the scene? LOL.

Before I do any of that, I must ask, how far is the safe distance between corn plantings to avoid cross-pollination? There is about 60-75 feet between our gardens. If that's not sufficient, please tell me which method of sabotage I should use.

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Bob, I don't know anything about Mirai 131y. Maybe it wouldn't be safe to enlighten me. lol

I always grow SE corn varieties. It just is safer with cool soil in the spring for me to do that. An additional advantage, I don't really have to worry about cross pollination from the other SE types I grow. The neighbor has always thought Bodacious and Ambrosia are cat's pajamas of corn varieties. That is fine, both SE types, anyway.

This year he has one of those Triplesweet hybrids. It is supposed to have some kernels that are not SE but supersweets! I think I'm fine but I'm not too sure about him - he's probably far enuf away . . .

Anyway, I have some flour corn (Painted Mountain) again this year. It is actually closer to the neighbor. I once grew it about 60 feet, upwind from my sweet corn. Hard to miss them -- there were just a few colorful kernels in my sweet corn! This year, I'm making sure that my sweet corn is upwind from the Painted Mountain.



    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 12:04PM
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b2alicia(zone 5 Westminster)

Maybe he'll share some of his with you. :)

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 1:53PM
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I agree with you about the Mirai corn, my wife is addicted to having her fix once the small patch I plant is ready and insists on it being planted each year. She will accept no substitute. I have never seen a patch of corn attract bees like the Mirai when the pollen is in full force. Fortunately I live in more of an urban area so very little corn is evident to worry about cross pollinization. Maybe besides the soil you gave your neighbor, share a few ears of Mirai and he will probably join you in planting the same variety next year. A little education on his behalf may be in order. Good luck


    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 9:59PM
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Steve, Mirai is the best! My wife occasionally brings home something from the store or farmers market and its like chewing dried corn kernels.

She emphatically calls me a 'corn snob'. I also will accept no substitute.

From what I understand, in the mid west, (why is it that what is accepted as the mid west, called the mid west? Wouldn't Colorado and Utah and Wyoming best the mid west? We are in the middle of the western states.), they advertise when Mirai will be served at a restaurant and there is a line of people specifically there for the corn. Read up on it, try it one season, you'll never go back. It's only 71 days.

George, how do you battle corn ear worm? Do you just break off the ends like I do?

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 10:37PM
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Mirai was engineered for the Japanese. One ear over there can be sold for the equivalent of $5. It's too fragile to be grown commercially because the ears and plants can't handle machine picking.

For home owners, it's considered by many to be the cream of the crop. They advertise its sweet and tender enough to eat off the stalk. The first year I grew it, I did just that and it was good. This was at 10:30 in the morning. I then plucked another 3-4 ears and boiled them and ate them while watching Bob Barker on The Price is Right. Drenched in good Irish butter no less.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 10:41PM
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Depending on how much time I have, I usually just let nature take its course and break off the damaged end. Although when I open the end of the ear to check for ripeness I get rid of a lot of worms that way. I have always wanted to try applying mineral oil to the silks early on but never seem to find the time to do it before its too late.


    Bookmark   June 22, 2013 at 11:37PM
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Bob I agree the Mirai varieties are very good. I have grown them the last several years up until this year.I didn't plant any sweet corn. The main reason is the ongoing drought here. And last year due to the heat and wind at the wrong time some of it didn't pollinate well. With that being said back to your question about cross pollination. I grew several different types every year. I never had any issues. By using different maturity dates and staggering planting I never had any issues. So without knowing what variety he planted and when it germinated you really can't tell if there will be an issue or not. As long as his doesn't tassel at the same time as yours you will be fine. 60-75 feet maybe enough. It will depend on wind direction and is there any fences, trees, ect. If your garden is upwind of his you should be fine. If it is downwind you may have some issues but I doubt many. Like I said I never had any. And I did have different types taseling at the same time. They were approx. 50-60 ft apart in E to W rows. We seldom receive winds straight from the west or the east so I figured I was safe. Jay

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 10:35AM
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Thanks Jay!

    Bookmark   June 23, 2013 at 11:04AM
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Oooo! I am wanting to grow sweet corn next year. I come from Iowa, Land of the Corn, so I am also picky about my corn. Where do you get your Mirai corn seeds from? Is there any place you would recommend for plants and seeds?

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 11:37PM
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Jung Seeds is one source...

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 10:21PM
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Jung is where I got mine.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 12:03AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)


Does he not understand cross-pollination!?!

No, your neighbor probably does not understand cross-pollination in corn. It's actually not that easy and he may have never even thought about it. I suggest next year you "share" your seeds with him, explain that he has got to try it. If he takes you up then you won't have to worry. If this does not work then you will have to explain it to him. (he may be very proud of his little corn patch and expect praise from you. He may be clueless about it all)

    Bookmark   September 18, 2013 at 8:35AM
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