Monday, August 10, 2009

Same Day Sweet Corn

For as much as corn gets a bad rap, it's really an excellent veggie - it's hard to beat the sweet crispness of corn picked within a few hours. No tasteless, chewy/mealy kernels here!

If you plan to plant your own corn next year, you'll want to have at least 100-200 square feet to assure good pollination (otherwise you'll have a lot of missing kernels on your cobs).

Maize breeders make specific cross by (Day 1) cutting the tip off of young ear shoots and covering both them and the pollen-shedding tassels with two small paper bags and (Day 2) after a burst of fresh, receptive silks (stigmas) have grown out, dump the pollen-filled tassel bag onto the new silks. This does two things - It assures that each little future kernel gets pollinated and prevents contaminating pollen from other corn varieties.

On another subject, my two little 3-foot salad boxes on my deck have been very successful this year. I bet one or two rows a little bigger than this (actually planted in the ground) could easily keep a person in salad most days of the week. I don't know if it's better to eat the old leaves (keeping the plant alive) or to pull up entire plants once they get really big and then re-seed. It'll be an experiment for my future yard!

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