Author Topic: Clever tricks for dealing with low populations of corn ?  (Read 578 times)

spacecase0

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Re: Clever tricks for dealing with low populations of corn ?
« Reply #15 on: 2020-07-14, 10:47:57 PM »
I dont understand how this works, can you explain please.
so what I said in reply #6 of this thread was not clear enough...

let me try to do better
silks from the lower part of the cob show up before the ones from the upper part of the cob,
so, you are selecting for sooner or later if you save the seeds from the ends of the cobs

Joseph Lofthouse

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Re: Clever tricks for dealing with low populations of corn ?
« Reply #16 on: 2020-07-20, 10:16:02 AM »
silks from the lower part of the cob show up before the ones from the upper part of the cob, so, you are selecting for sooner or later if you save the seeds from the ends of the cobs

The other half of the equation would be that, presumably, some of the later appearing silks might be pollinated by other plants that tasseled later, and thus lengthening the days to maturity.

But it wouldn't matter for those seeds which are selfed, because they have the same mother and father. And it wouldn't matter for highly uniform varieties where the whole population tassels at the same time.

Yaz

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Re: Clever tricks for dealing with low populations of corn ?
« Reply #17 on: 2020-08-05, 08:05:37 PM »
My fussing aside, looks like I got corn cobs after all.
Interestingly, a lot of the first to tassle plants were last to silk, and a couple silked before tassling. Combined with some other weirdness in morphology, I can confidently say that the Painted Mountain corn plants dont read internet articles on the stages of corn formation :) I am shocked by how tall it got, the tallest is maybe 7-8 ft, way taller than the local commercial corn.

I counted 62 cobs today, not counting the couple of stalks that have fallen over. Most have 2 cobs/stalk, or none. Several ears have overshot the husks. 

I really need to have a bigger population size to work with. I would like to cull probably 30% if possible. Instead, I detassled 3 or 4. Surviving/producing/not falling over is the only other selection I have done.  I do have beans climbing some of them, and doing well and holding things up.

Plan for next year is definitely to increase the size of the corn patch assuming I use the flour,  I am enjoying growing them. Maybe also use the smaller spacing of the two I trialed, I am not yet seeing any difference in productivity between the two spacings. 

S.Simonsen

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Re: Clever tricks for dealing with low populations of corn ?
« Reply #18 on: 2020-08-06, 01:10:03 AM »
One way to avoid inbreeding depression in small population sizes would be to form a small group of growers that regularly exchange seed. That keeps the effective population size larger (and also provides some insurance against one person losing the strain).

Yaz

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Re: Clever tricks for dealing with low populations of corn ?
« Reply #19 on: 2020-09-01, 11:41:28 AM »
Well... all my flour corn is harvested now. Not sure if I would call it a success.

 I got maybe 25 cobs off the patch, the local wildlife probably got a similar number. I have saved seeds into 4 seperate identical jars/copies, using the criteria of saving one seed to each batch for every cob, and 2 seeds if it was a particularly impressive cob. I chose to save seeds from the bottoms of the cobs in an atempt to encourage earlier maturity, it would ideally be nice two beable to grow 2 varieities  (flour corn and a popcorn) seperated by time, and this variety started drying down almost 2 months before first frost date, 

Notes/lessons learned
-  I think I need to move towards a uniform harvesting/ripening date. As is, it took a month with a few cobs drying down while others were still silking, which was plenty of time for the local wildlife to find out and invite their friends to the feast. Later maturing cobs had far more predation. Later cobs also had disappointing pollination. Don't regret overseeing a second batch, but will over plant in the future to avoid it.
- Beans climbing the corn was disappointing. By the time the beans have begun to mature, the corn stalks are almost dead, so the beans are pulling them down, might work for a longer seasoned variety. No difference earlier in lodging between my rows with beans and rows without. Got far better production in the shaded corn of beans than in my normal bean area.
- i tried a few different spacings/plantings. Larger spacing didn't seem to make much of a difference, except that those in grew in clumps were not as successful as those grown in rows.
- many overshot corn husks, but I think those were somewhat selected against as those were the birds favourites

I am hoping to try a bigger patch next year with a mix of saved and purchased seed, and see if my saved seed does better than the purchased, which would be encouraging, I would also consider bringing in another variety or at least another seed source into the mix.