Pollination of Sweet Corn
On this week’s episode, Travis is planting ambrosia sweet corn in the vegetable garden. Previously planted was crimson clover and Travis decided to let his chickens graze on the spot in order to clean out the area. When planting sweet corn or field corn you always want to plant it in a square plot for better pollination. Corn is a wind-pollinated crop meaning that once the tassels start forming on the tops the male flowers with the pollen will begin to pollinate the female flowers on the ears or silks of the corn. This allows for maximum pollination by planting in a square plot instead of a long row in the garden.
Planting Ambrosia Sweet Corn
To start planting Ambrosia Sweet Corn in the garden we begin by laying our drip tape. Corn is a heavy feeder crop meaning it needs lots of irrigation and fertilizer to get the best growth. However, Travis is not going to add compost in the garden since the crimson clover previously planted and grazing chickens added a lot of amending in the soil. We are going to create a furrow using our Double Wheel Hoe and the plow set attachment. Then, to add drip irrigation in the garden we are going to use our Drip Tape Layer attachment to effectively lay the drip in straight rows. Now, Travis is going to plant six rows of Ambrosia Sweet Corn using the Hoss Garden Seeder. With the seeder, it has a disc furrow opener and we can plant right on top of the drip tape without puncturing the drip tape that is already buried in the garden. Before we plant, we always want to test to make sure the seeds will fit the correct seed plate and modify the plate if they do not fit the sweet corn variety. When planting six rows of corn, Travis recommends planting with 30 or 36-inch spacing. Next, he will plant his Ambrosia sweet corn along the rows in the square plot of the vegetable garden. Finally, after planting he will ensure that his drip irrigation is running effectively and wait for the germination of sweet corn to begin in the garden area.
Three Levels of Sweetness
There are three categories when it comes to sweet corn varieties. They are broken up into levels of sweetness and length of storage capacity after harvest. The first level is Su which is the standard type that is typically the older sweet corn varieties such as Silver Queen or Stowell’s Evergreen. The second level is a sugary extender known as Se which tends to be sweeter than the Su type and can store a little longer after harvest. The sugary extender type includes varieties like Ambrosia, Incredible, and Peaches and Cream. Lastly, the Sh2 is a supersweet or triplesweet type that is the sweetest of corn varieties and has the longest storage rate after harvesting from the garden. We have one variety that is Sh2 which is the Honey Select hybrid variety that has the perfect combination of corn flavor and sweetness.