Author Topic: Flint/Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley  (Read 3321 times)

reed

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #60 on: 2019-05-07, 02:59:56 AM »
Wet weather slowed me down but my flint corn project got started yesterday with a small patch of Oxbow Yellow/Orange Flint and Zapalote Chico. Cascade Ruby Gold I'm pretty sure is a little earlier flowering so I'll plant it in about a week.

This is the first of two, maybe three small flint patches for this year. If I get simultaneous flowering of all three I'll detassel the ZC and be very happy.  If not I will plant a second patch as soon as I know the actual flowering time of each.  Another later patch also dependent on knowing how they match up is the same cross but in the other direction ZC as father, flints as mothers.

I'm doing this as a blend rather than making hybrids and if it works from then on I can just plant and select, no more worrying about timing or detasseling.

Flour will be done similarly but it is delayed as the back garden isn't ready yet but should be in later in the week if weather cooperates.   

reed

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #61 on: 2019-05-20, 01:02:42 PM »
First planting of my flint project is up strong. Zapalote Chico and Oxbow Yellow Flint were planted together four short rows of OYF on both sides of a row of ZC, in hopes I get lucky and they flower together. Another row of ZC is sandwiched between four rows of Cascade Ruby Gold on both sides. CRG, I suspect is shorter season so I waited till I had spouts of ZC to plant it. CRG shot up almost immediately though so who knows how it will all turn out.

Second planting was just done a couple days ago, it is the opposite with 20 rows of ZC inter-spaced with single rows of OYF and Bronze Beauty. Again CRG will be planted a little later. I added in the BB for some extra diversity but especially since it has white endosperm it will of course be de-tasseled and it was not included as a pollen donor in the other patch.

I messed up and planted ALL my pure ZC I got from GRIN but that's ok I guess as I have lots of my own from last year. It has some level of crossing with last years flour corns but a lot of it is pure so not too big a mishap.

Flour patch is also planted but it is much more complicated and diverse, so much so I will not really even attempt to track it, I'll just select.

One great thing I think, among many, about flint and flour corn breeding, as opposed to sweet corn is in a small patch like mine I get to keep, examine and select from ALL the plants not just those that didn't get eaten.

« Last Edit: 2019-05-20, 01:04:46 PM by reed »

reed

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Re: Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #62 on: 2019-06-21, 02:54:36 AM »
My flint corn project is coming along but slowly. After starting out pretty good cool, cloudy, wet weather has slowed it down. Still I'm hopeful of getting my initial crosses for big grow out next year. I'v got two small patches, planted pretty crowded but corn usually grows pretty good for me that way.

First patch of Zapalote Chico and Oxbow Farms Yellow flint grex was planted and then since I think it is probably faster maturing, Cascade ruby Gold was added after they sprouted.  Looking here for just 10 or so nice ears of ZC mothers pollinated by the others.

Second patch was planted later in the opposite configuration, looking here for the same crosses but reversed with ZC providing the pollen. A row of Bronze Beauty (white endosperm) flint is also included to be  pollinated by the ZC. It is the only one I'll have to detassel next year to bring it in line with the other yellow.

ZC of course is also white and somewhat dent but I'll work that out later.

I also have a couple others I'll try to pollinate with ZC. I found three kernels of Cascade Cream Cap that had been pollinated by a yellow sweet corn and had yellow endosperm so I planted them and they are doing well but not especially remarkable looking plants. I also found several kernels of a descendant of Painted Mountain, also crossed to yellow sweet corns a few seasons ago. These kernels appeared very flinty and had a nice chinmark pericarp, so I planted a few of them. They are interesting looking plants with red stalks. I hope to pollinate these few plants with the ZC as well but they are a little behind so I'll see how it comes out.

A third larger patch was planted still later in the back garden. It has my mixed up ZC and Oxbow White Flour mix up from last year as well as some others such as Neandercorn and various flour corns previously crossed to sweets. This patch is partly for the white flour/variable pericarp project but also to preserve a lot of my other prior work of collecting massive diversity.

reed

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Re: Flint/Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #63 on: 2019-06-30, 03:55:23 AM »
In my flint patch Cascade Ruby Gold is first to release pollen. One plant of OxBow Yellow Flint will probably do so today. A couple Zapalote Chico have tassels just becoming visible. There are no silks yet on any plants. CRG is apparently very early, I didn't pay attention to record planting dates but OYF and ZC were four inches tall when CRG was planted.

I want ZC for the mothers in this patch and looks like it and OYF will match up pretty good also not all of the CRG is flowering so I hope the later of it will too. Just days now till I know for sure. Few plants of any kind are over five feet tall but I'm sure that is due partly to overcrowding but mostly the freakish weather. The first 21 days of June were cloudy, wet and cool with a couple nights in the high 40s F and no days over 80 F.

I also lost a few plants to some type of animal attack. They chewed the stalks themselves, I think after the not yet emerged tassels. Never seen that before, it must have been chipmunks as it was small enough to climb the stalk without knocking it over but big enough to chomp through it. 

I think weather has also affected maturity, with plants just now flowering I doubt I'll be able to have two generations this season but if I can get viable seed by first of August I might still give it a try. Just more reasons to focus on fast maturity I think which makes me want to keep genetics of these first blooming plants. I didn't look up the old posts about saving pollen, I just dried some rice, collected pollen and put it in the fridge. It only has to survive a few days so I'll hope for the best. I got it from six CGR plants and tagged each one. Today I imagine there will be a few more and at least one OYF to go with it.  If it works it will also help insure many fathers to each ear of the ZC mothers.

The second patch of the same but opposite crosses was planted later but has almost caught up in height. No way those other tiny plantings are gonna catch up in time to join in, O'well I'll be more than happy if the primary patches work out.
« Last Edit: 2019-06-30, 04:01:14 AM by reed »

reed

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Re: Flint/Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #64 on: 2019-07-04, 02:42:40 PM »
Well phooey, silks on two of the five Oxbow Flint plants showing silks so far are reddish/pink in color. Salmon silks? I think maybe so and to be on the safe side I'v culled them. All of the CRG have light yellow/white silks so they are fine. I'v taped little paper tents to the stalks of the OBF covering the ears with light silks, ZC in the second patch is close to tassel and I'll use it to pollinate them. ZC in the first patch has been detasseled and should silk very soon.

I started collecting and freezing pollen on 6/29 and have each day's collection in separate containers. That collected on the first day is pure CGR but between then and today some pollen from the salmon silk plants is probably included. I guess I should discard it. What I collected today is a mix of CGR and the white silk OBF plants.

Assuming my technique of storing pollen works I should have plenty to pollinate the ZC mothers, fingers crossed. If not it will be close still having pollen from CRG. Several OBF have not tasseled and they will likely time just right but now that I know there is some salmon silk in there it's a little worrisome. On the plus side there is very little time difference in between tassel and silk on the OBF, one plant in fact silked first.  So even if some salmon silk genes slip in I should be able to cull them out and confine their influence to just the very bottom kernels.
« Last Edit: 2019-07-04, 02:44:48 PM by reed »

reed

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Re: Flint/Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #65 on: 2019-07-10, 06:38:47 AM »
I'll tell ya what, the freakish weather has really messed up my corn. The ZC plants that I detasseled week ago or more are just ow starting to silk. Don't know if my frozen pollen is viable or not but guess I'll find out. It's actually OK if it isn't cause later planted patches caught up  and are tasseling now. I culled out the salmon silk plants form the ObYF but some of that pollen is in the frozen stuff. Also found a couple CRG with the salmon silks. I'm not gonna worry over it too much, just cull it back out later if necessary. Besides there is that possibility of colored pericarp genes that can override it effects.

Over all I'm also starting to think a person shouldn't be too dedicated to a particular outcome, that it grows at all is the most important thing, worry about the rest later.

On an up note, I had some hard flint kernels with dark yellow endosperm and cool chinmark pattern saved from Joseph's Harmony mix. I planted them kinda late on a whim but they have caught up and are tasseling in line with silks on the ZC. Only got six plants but they are beautiful with solid dark red stalks similar to the ZC and the tassels have a nice purple color also similar to the ZC. I'm gonna mix them in too!

reed

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Re: Flint/Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #66 on: 2019-07-29, 06:37:02 AM »
My flint project is drying down on the stalks right now. Seeds are already viable I'm sure but would like them to fully dry in place if possible. Double strand electric fence seems to be working to keep the squirrels at bay, they are the actual culprits rather than coons that do the most damage to corn. Coons of course would be easily as bad except they are much easier to eliminate.

Despite the wierdness of weather looks like I'll have about ten nice ears of ZC, detasseled and pollinated with OxBow yellow flint, CRG and the chinmark flint. Also about ten OYF pollinated by ZC and four of the chinmark pollinated by ZC and maybe five of Bronze Beauty. All Bronze Beauty was detasseled.

Oxbow yellow flint and ZC tolerated the odd weather very well, Bronze Beauty did pretty good and CGR was terrible. Anyway, assuming I can hold off the squirrel attacks I'm pretty happy how it came out.

All was lost of the flour corn patch in the back garden to deer, squirrels, coons and neglect but I have plenty of back up seed. I'm investing in another solar electric fence for the back garden and will soon plant it full of old bush bean seeds, turnips and radishes to prep it to be the primary corn patch next year.

reed

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Re: Flint/Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #67 on: 2019-07-31, 05:59:18 AM »
WOW, I plucked off a secondary ear from the late planted Zap Chico to see how drying was progressing. Silks were brown and dry to the touch but still a little damp and yellow under the shucks. Kernels looked fully matured but not drying yet, they were firm enough to pick one off without destroying it but still juicy when squashed. I tasted it and that's the WOW part. 

May be that by chance I picked it at exactly the time and a few minutes later it wouldn't have been so good but it was, by, the most delicious sweet corn I ever tasted.  Base of the inside shucks were crisp and full of juice and tasted just as good as the kernels. 

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Re: Flint/Flour/Ornamental Corn for Central Ohio River Valley
« Reply #68 on: 2019-08-07, 07:43:41 AM »
I'v gone ahead and harvested the rest of my corn except for the four plants form one of Joseph's mixes that had the chinmark pericarp. They weren't planted till mid June or so but still I was able to pollinate them with some ZC pollen.

I'll post some pictures later but for now I'll just describe some of the more interesting ears. Not a single entirely yellow ear of ZC showed up even though it was pollinated by (mostly) yellow types, some Bronze Beauty pollen being the exception. One ear of CRG pollinated by by ZC is dramatically bi-colored yellow and white. Does CRG have some white lurking around? How else could bright white show up, white being recessive?

There is a little variation in color on individual ears but most Oxbow yellow flint is fairly uniform on a particular ear. Is there something cytoplasmic going on there? Seems like I read that genetically, carotene and yellow endosperm don't have anything to do with each other and the orange color isn't from the endosperm. So if carotene is the goal might it be possible or even preferable to try to isolate it in white rather than yellow? Although I don't know how a person could tell the difference in what exactly was making the color, except that maybe carotene is orange, not yellow.

I love the Bronze Beauty ears. The plants were not as vigorous as CZ or OYF but ears are long with good tip cover and 8 rows of big shiny kernels. All of them were pollinated by ZC. CRG plants were even less vigorous but also 8 rows of big kernels. Long narrow cobs, 8 or 10 rows of big kernels is what I hope for eventually. I got enough this year I think I can go ahead and eliminate anything with more than 12 rows.

I planted mostly darker pericarp kernels of the BB and CRG but I didn't get any very dark ones back. Mostly lighter tans and cream colors. O'well I'm sure the darker genes are in there and should show up later.

I not sure how attached to the carotene I really am, there is plenty of it in squash, sweet potatoes, carrots so don't know that it's really needed in corn anyway and I think I like the pericarp colors over white better. I'll decide that later, doubt it would be too much trouble selecting for white later with it being recessive. Of course I won't be able to see it easily under very dark pericarp but still under bright light bi or multi colors it should show up. Or I can file though and pick them out.

I was in hopes I might find some flinty looking kernels on the crossed ZC but not the case. Even the yellow kernels which I know to be fathered by flint still look otherwise just like the normal ZC, mostly floury and a little dented. O'well I'm confident they will show up eventually. This is my first time growing flint and appearance wise I really like it better than flour. It also seems to mature faster and dry down better.

I harvested enough mostly self pollinated OBF that I think I might be able to experiment with grinding it up and begin the process of learning to make corn bread, I'm real excited about that.

Today is August 8 and all of the corn, some planted May 15 and some May 25 is plenty dry to remove kernels, no artificial drying needed.  I'm pretty sure I had viable seed on both patches in 60 days. So I'm thinking of planting maybe fifty or so kernels today. In all likelihood I'll have those 60 days before frost and very possibly 75 days maybe more.  A couple years ago it stayed in the high 80s F into November. As long as pollination is over I could even cut the tops off the plants and cover them with blankets or something if necessary. Heck, I'm not above digging a few select plants up and bringing them inside or at least putting them in the woman's green house.




« Last Edit: 2019-08-07, 08:01:35 AM by reed »