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  • Painted Mountain Corn

    I haven't grown these for a few years, I remember them as being surprisingly short growing? Anyway, I have some growing in the polytunnel I hope with enough of a time gap to Zola Rose family. I think I'll be planting something through them, possibly melon or drying beans?

  • #2
    A few growing issues, number one moles - they are regularly tunneling through the bed near to the surface and a couple of really big molehills too. Not the best and a few plants severely stunted. Also a few plants have had the lead chewed through by caterpillars, they look the same or similar to the blighters that cause damage to tomato plants. They are not easy to find at the best of times and usually, their poo gives them away, but I've got a grapevine growing overhead and the spent flowers dropping off mask the poo. I think possible shading from the Grapevine has had more of an impact than I anticipated too.


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    Tassels are coming through, no sign of silks.

    These plants are indeed quite a bit taller than when previously grown out on the plot. I remember being shocked at how short they were when I spotted the first tassel, these must be at least twice the height if not more.

    Comment


    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      I think with sweetcorn moisture at the right time makes a big difference. Like just after they really root well. I stick bamboo canes into mole hills and put an upturned bottle on top. This rattles in the wind, the cane transfers the sound and the moles don't like it. Not a perfect cure, but at least something tried.

    • Galina
      Galina commented
      Editing a comment
      Love the concept of a jungle tunnel.

    • jayb
      jayb commented
      Editing a comment
      It felt like a jungle tunnel too yesterday morning, hot and humid! The path used to run straight door to door, now it has a lovely curve around the corn.

      I don't think enough wind in the tunnel for the bottle and cane, I'll have a look online for something. I have been trying just to ignore them, but just as I think ok this can work with them they make oodles of fresh tunnels and mounds.

  • #3
    En masse they actually look very healthy in spite of moles and caterpillars. I hope they stand up to any further attacks.

    It looks like quite a dense planting and I think you said you were doing some in small clumps this year? It will be very interesting to see how that turns out. I've planted quite a lot of pairs of corn plants, as I often sow two seeds to a module. Previously I've thinned to one but this year I've left many of them so will also be interested to see how that affects cob production.

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    • #4
      I've never planted so densely as this before. Modules were multi sown with up to 3 seeds, they are planted out at I think at 18" each way. No thinning of seedlings although I tried to avoid planting 3 plant plugs adjoining. I've not given them any extra feeding, they are looking ok without, but I have been watering them. From what I've read, planting too closely is most likely to affect cob size and maybe the timing of tassels to silks which would be some issue. I've read pollen can be stored but how practical this might be? previously I've collected pollen from plants to spread onto others straight away and found you have to be quick or the pollen gets clumpy quickly.

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      • jayb
        jayb commented
        Editing a comment
        I've never totally isolated for the duration, too wet and windy here to be able to bag silks and tassels, so I'm afraid I can't give you an answer on that. I've used hand-pollinating as an aid to ensure a good mix across plants and to add a dab of one variety to others to make sure it goes into a blend. I guess then it can still be luck of the draw what gets sown next time, but it seems to aid diversity. Though this method is very much weather dependent as you need a fine day and no breeze to be able to collect pollen before mother nature shakes it about.

        Sometimes when I've grown mixed varieties in the hope of them mingling they don't seem to very much or perhaps it's me not seeing them come through in a grow out.

        The best way to get a good set is to trim back the silks. When they are short it makes it easier to distribute the pollen onto as many silks as possible, rather than when they are inches long, much more difficult and takes a lot more pollen.

      • Jang
        Jang commented
        Editing a comment
        Interesting tip. Thanks. I’d have been scared to do that trimming, so worth knowing.

      • jayb
        jayb commented
        Editing a comment
        I had similar feelings too, just didn't seem right to me, it does work though.

    • #5
      Up until now my experience of Painted Mountain - shortish growing corn, even in a good year.
      +
      Corn grows taller planted inside. Taking this into account it should be fine with a 7' high PT.
      =
      Today I admit it was a mistake to plant Painted Mountain in the smaller polytunnel. Some have now reached the roof and tower over me.

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      • Galina
        Galina commented
        Editing a comment
        Isn't that just typical? Not much you can do about, best not to stress.

    • #6
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      • triffid
        triffid commented
        Editing a comment
        Tasselling, so they won't get much taller? They really like the tunnel

      • Jang
        Jang commented
        Editing a comment
        Commiserations. Not quite the look one wants! But as triffid says, dry happy plants so fat.
        I suppose the tassels might still develop but are unlikely to shed their pollen wedged against the roof.
        Can you still try to manually shake the tassels or manually pollinate? If you can get the cobs pollinated, then cut the tops of the plants off?

      • jayb
        jayb commented
        Editing a comment
        I would think a combination of shaking and pollen sharing around will work, just a bit more awkward and condensation may be an issue. If needed I can cut the tassels and they can apparently store in the fridge and be brought out when needed to help maintain diversity. Plus I have a new secret weapon I bought a little while back which may help with pollen spreading (no idea what it is called will look back and see).

        No sign of any silks yet will have to have a good rummage through.

    • #7
      Well, these so outgrew their indoor space, I'm unlikely to repeat an indoor growing without at least 9' headspace.
      I picked an immature cob a couple of weeks ago and ate it raw, lovely flavour with some sweetness along the lines on baby-corn.
      I picked a one again yesterday, tassels were brown and looked to be the stage I'd pick regular sweetcorn at. Really pleased all but one seed was filled, some hope for the remainder of the crop.

      For fresh eating it was a bit too mature, I cut off and cooked the top couple of inches. No sweet taste left, cob was somewhat chewy but loved the flavour none the less.

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      • #8
        This is the remainder of the cob I harvested a few days ago.
        When picked it looked a bi yellow and white with a few coloured seeds, interesting to see the red colour developing.

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        • Jang
          Jang commented
          Editing a comment
          Yes, very interesting. What colouring was in the original,seeds? All three of those colours?

        • jayb
          jayb commented
          Editing a comment
          The seeds were a complete mix of colours and when I've grown these before you get random mix of coloured cobs back.
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