BHM's Homesteading & Self-Reliance Forum

Posting requires Registration and the use of Cookies-enabled browser


Go Back   BHM Forum > Homesteading > Plants

Plants Plant-related topics that do not have a dedicated board.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 05-06-2018, 07:10 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 862
Default corn question

does anyone know if sweet corn and flint corn will hybridize? I have 2 types of corn seed that I can plant this year, a gallon size bag of flint corn (ornamental mix type) and a smaller quart size bag full of a sweet corn hybrid. I don't know if they will hybridize, if they are genetically different enough I would plant both, but if there is any hybrid risk i'll just be planting the flint corn.

flint corn can be ground on my mill into cornmeal and washed with ashes to make flour corn, I can also grind for chicken feed. also its not all that interesting to raccoons.

the sweet corn is edible as is, and I would be canning it and pickling (corn relish)

in both cases I plan to have the stalks made into silage, the Amish cut their corn by hand and take to the barn where they have stationary choppers. whatever stalks I have I plan to take to one of them and have them chop into silage for me, making a couple truckloads or a big wagon load.

just finished harrowing the garden and I went through my seed supplies and trying to decide what to plant this year, I like to save seed so if I plant the flint corn I want to save seed to grow it again, the sweet corn won't produce true a second time around and is a throw away 1 time harvest.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 05-06-2018, 10:30 PM
Terri Terri is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Kansas
Posts: 2,126
Default

I think that ANY corn will cross with any other corn, assuming that one is down wind of the other when corn is being pollinated.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 05-07-2018, 04:23 AM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,977
Default

I agree. Any corn that is close, downwind, and tasseling at the same time will cross with any other corn. You could de-tassel one variety and not the other, then only one will cross. If one variety is a hybrid, you probably won't want to save seed from it anyway unless you REALLY know what you are doing as corn genetics are complex. De-tassel any hybrid or the corn you don't want to save; the other can then pollinate both varieties if they are fertile at the same time. If you are not saving seed, it doesn't matter.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 05-07-2018, 09:53 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 862
Default

only planning to save seed from the flint corn, the seed from that is expensive. was lucky to get a small bucket full at the end of the season at a menonite store, went in around October and asked to buy out all their leftover seed, got a huge box of seed packets and small buckets for $20. unfortunately getting seed like this is rather hit and miss, while I might end up with a 5 gallon bucket worth of blue lake beans, I could have just 2 packets of Kentucky wonder, and 2 ziplock bags of some kind of hybrid in each. I try to alternate what I plant, some years I save seed (especially if its an expensive seed to buy), others I might call a throw away year and plant out all the misc seeds and save nothing, this just uses up the seeds.

my 2 acre garden this year is intended for marketing as well, so having some sweet corn to sell would be a good idea (flint corn only sells as Halloween decorations)

i'm over a mile from the nearest neighboring corn field, so anything that I plant can only be hybridized by something else I plant. I know there are 6 different types of corn, I didn't know if they hybridized with each other (like the 4 types of pumpkin, I can plant 1 of each type and they won't cross, but if I plant 2 of a specific type they will cross).
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 05-07-2018, 02:13 PM
Doninalaska Doninalaska is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Gender: Male
Posts: 1,977
Default

Corn is different from pumpkin/squash. Corn pollen is heavy and usually carried by the wind, so isolation is not real difficult, but bees can carry it too, so... you might get a few crosses even at a distance, probably not a mile though. As far as I know, all corn is the same species, just different varieties--like dogs, for instance. A Chihuahua doesn't resemble a Great Dane but they CAN cross...same species. Squashes are different species, but all the same genus, though they don't easily cross (but some crossing can happen and may yield non-viable seeds). Corn also carries two sets of genes, which makes it more complex than other crops--one for the plant and one for the seed. Corn is considered a breeding miracle when you consider what the wild corn looked like. It would be difficult for even modern plant breeders with knowledge of genetics to create corn as a crop, so how Native Americans accomplished it is unknown.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 05-07-2018, 10:52 PM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 862
Default

there are 4 species of pumpkin/squash they don't cross between species. however planting 2 cultivars/varieties of the same species will result in hybrids. that's why I can plant butternut squash near acorn squash and not have hybrids. butternut squash is Cucurbita moschata, while acorn squash is Cucurbita pepo, same family and genus but different species, if I plant jack o lantern pumpkins near acorn squash they will cross as they are both Cucurbita pepo.

I avoided learning about corn at my previous place because there was a dairy farm next door and upwind with the prevailing wind. less than a few hundred feet from garden was about 40 acres of whatever corn the dairy farm was planting, so there was no chance to save seed.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 05-08-2018, 05:32 AM
Bearfootfarm's Avatar
Bearfootfarm Male Bearfootfarm is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Eastern North Carolina
Posts: 2,062
Default

The simplest way to avoid cross pollination is distance between the varieties.

Another easy way is to stagger planting dates so they don't tassel at the same time

Check the maturity dates and you may find one will grow faster than the other.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 05-21-2018, 07:33 PM
doc doc is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: The Driftless Area, WI
Posts: 1,524
Default

Corn pollen carries on the wind no more than 25 ft-- a fact Monsanto has used in court repeatedly to win cases against farmers who actually saved GMO seed (not allowed according to the purchase contract) and were caught with a new crop showing a high percentage of GMO genes.

While insect pollinators could pick up corn pollen, they're not likely to be wasting much time in a field corn which isn't attractive to them.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 05-24-2018, 09:43 PM
Tim Horton's Avatar
Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Location: Deep in the BC Bush
Posts: 6,016
Default

Sweet corn on the cob has a lot of kilometers on it by the time it gets to this part of the bush. And a price to reflect that.

I have to wonder regardless what pollinates what both kinds are an annual plant. So grow them both, eat the fresh sweet corn, grind the dent (field) corn and rotate the crop location next year. Remember this is all for your personal use.
__________________
Always fresh.
Keep your stick on the ice. Red Green
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 05-25-2018, 01:07 AM
Setanta Male Setanta is offline
Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Posts: 862
Default

most of the corn was ruined by bluejays, I only planted the flint corn this year. jays are smart, like any corvid, by the time I got them under control there was a heavy loss (had to resort to the old trick of hanging dead jays around the corn patch as a warning to the rest, corvids are smart enough not to be fooled by plastic owls, scarecrows, or flashers, but they are also smart enough to avoid places where their dead friends are on display) right after that got under control I had another pest go after the beans.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 05-25-2018, 04:48 PM
Terri Terri is offline
Grand Master Pontificator
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Kansas
Posts: 2,126
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Setanta View Post
most of the corn was ruined by bluejays, I only planted the flint corn this year. jays are smart, like any corvid, by the time I got them under control there was a heavy loss (had to resort to the old trick of hanging dead jays around the corn patch as a warning to the rest, corvids are smart enough not to be fooled by plastic owls, scarecrows, or flashers, but they are also smart enough to avoid places where their dead friends are on display) right after that got under control I had another pest go after the beans.
This is one reason why spring is my favorite time of the year: later on the birds and the bugs eat the garden!

But, for a short time in early spring everything is up and beautiful and nothing has died at ALL! Yet
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -2. The time now is 05:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.4
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
© 1996 to Present. Backwoods Home Magazine, Inc.