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No ears on corn

 
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Hi all,
I planted some Glass Gem corn in April.  It is now over my head, and some of them are just starting to show tassels peeking thru.  I looked and looked, but I don't see any ears forming!  Is this normal?  Shouldn't there be tiny proto-ears forming at the same time?
 
steward
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I say just wait, it's probably too soon. Glass gem can take 120 days to maturity, and that's just a ballpark figure. Ears could mature a little sooner, or take longer, depending on growing conditions.
 
pollinator
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How far apart are the plants? Corn that size needs a lot of room.

James is probably right, but I’ve seen a lot of people plant corn way too close together.

 
Lori Ziemba
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Ken W Wilson wrote:How far apart are the plants? Corn that size needs a lot of room.

James is probably right, but I’ve seen a lot of people plant corn way too close together.



I did crowd them.  It's a small plot, about 5 x 10 feet.  I planted them Indian style, in hills, 5-6 plants per hill, hills about 2' apart.  They look great, tall and green and robust.  A few have red streaks on the lower leaves, which I think may have been caused by a heatwave in early June, with temps around 102 for 3 days.  But they've gotten plenty of water (I water twice a week).  I had added 2 bags of cow manure to the plot before planting, and have been supplementing with MaxSea.  I've only grown strawberry popcorn in the past, which never got this big and strong.  
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This is when they were first coming up in April. You can see the spacing.
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Early June.
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Early July.
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Over my shoulder in Early July, now over my head. (I'm 5'5")
 
steward
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Seems like normal growth to me.
 
pollinator
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Ken W Wilson wrote:How far apart are the plants? Corn that size needs a lot of room.

James is probably right, but I’ve seen a lot of people plant corn way too close together.



I am not sure on this variety of corn, but the USDA did studies on corn densities and found that yield did not drop despite high plant densities per acre.

A few years ago, the farmer that won the highest yield per acre had messed with planting densities and got over 500 bushels to the acre on one field. The average is around 300 bushels per acre, so it was quite the feat.

I remember when we planted corn in 36 inch row spacings, but have now gone to 30 inch, and there is talk of going to 24 inch. The yield will be a lot higher, but it is going to take a planter with individual row GPS and a tractor well fitted with a high process computer to sneak the tractor down those narrow rows to pull it all off. To try that by hand steering would result in crushed stalks which would knock down the yield.

24 inch row spacings...33% higher use of a given acre...it sure is not 1985 anymore!
 
Joseph Lofthouse
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Here's a photo of a corn plant from my garden. Notice that the tassel is well grown, and the cob, in the node near my toe, is just starting to grow.

tassel-developing-before-cobs.jpg
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Tassels forming before cobs.
 
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The ears always appear after the tassels. A week later on average.

It can be almost simultaneous or it can happen weeks later which really hurts pollination.

This is related to water and nutrient availability. The corn should be receiving the most water and nutrients around this period.


 
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