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Are my sweetcorn doomed?

lb191lb191 Posts: 80
Ive been fumbling trying to grow sweetcorn for years but this year I meant business. I’ve been watering them well in this heat and checking on them.

The 12 plants have got the “tassels” on the top opening but the plants are only about 3-4 ft high and there are no “tufts”. There is nothing that remotely resembles something that might develop into an ear of corn to be fertilised.

I read that there are 10 days of the pollen to be effective and I’m assuming that at this rate the pollen will be gone by the time any ears might appear.

Can a plant have more than one tassel appear throughout summer?

Is it possible to have no ears? What causes it?

Is it possible to collect pollen in a bag and store it for use if any ears do appear?


  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,680
    The cobs are directly under the tassels (the tassles are attached to them). before they are fertilised they are tiny, (baby corn) If you have tassels you will have corn coming, be patient
  • This is my first year growing sweetcorn, I did have 4 plants however I only have 2 left now (toddler issues haha) So I was very conscious about making sure the 2 I have got pollinated. As soon as my tops developed everyday I tapped the tops and also ran my hand up them and down into what I thought was going to be corn. (the side tufts) So far I have 2 cobs developing on each plant. Mine are only around 4ft tall. I used plenty of manure in the beds, have you done this too? from what I read they are hungry plants. I think I'm just lucky this time round. I have my next batch in and I'm keeping my toddler well away! 
  • SkandiSkandi Posts: 1,680
    4ft sounds fine for British corn, the huge things you see on TV and in Pictures are grown in warmer and longer summers. I am a little jealous, I got mine in late this year and they are only a foot tall! However I can see looking back at previous years pictures this is pretty normal for here in July.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,041
    edited July 2018
    Make sure that the plants have enough water. They are very thirsty and the cobs will not swell without water. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

  • Nanny BeachNanny Beach Posts: 8,469
    No sure if it was Monty or one of the other presenters, said recently you need to keep sweetcorn short of water they need to be stressed in order to produce cobs.Desided to grow corn this year instead of our usual spuds, ours are about 4 feet tall, and doing fine.
  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Posts: 84,041
    Everything I've ever read says to keep sweetcorn well watered, and certainly we get better crops now than when our veg patch was on the dry side due to the ash tree that side of the garden taking all the moisture out of the soil. 

    Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.

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