Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Corn vs Popcorn Cross Pollinating?

Topic: Corn vs Popcorn Cross Pollinating?
Posted: 06 May 2007 at 5:28pm

If I plant sweet corn next to popcorn (and I am NOT going to save the seeds for next year), will they cross pollinate and affect the quality and taste for THIS year? I do believe it would affect the seed if I saved any for next year.

I got a Golden Bantam corn seed and want to taste sweet corn before sweet corn got to be so sweet! The popcorn/ornamental corn is Cherokee (if this all matters).


Guess I posted too soon. I just posted to your "I planted my garden" link about this specific issue.

Yes, they will cross-pollinate. One will screw up the other -- if I recall correctly, it's the popcorn that will get screwed (and basically come out as sweet corn). ----(at aslan's how we also saw some of the sweet corn come out unusually starchy)

Furthermore, to get adequate cross-pollination within one variety, you need to plant a reasonably good-sized block of corn. Can't just plant 1 or 2 rows of a half-dozen plants. I think 50 plants and 3 rows are about the minimum (but that's from fuzzy memory). Otherwise, you'll get ears of corn with very few kernals on them.

I have heard that the 'square-foot gardening' method has some way of doing corn in a comparatively small space, but I've never looked into it.


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