Astronomy Domine Sweet Corn

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  • Regular price $3.25

Zea mays

100 days. Sweetcorn landrace developed by a large number of breeders with the goal of creating the most diverse open pollinated corn population ever. Plant this in your garden and continue the breeding work, selecting the 100 + plants that perform the best to save for seeds!

How to grow it:  After all danger of frost has passed, plant 2 seeds 12” apart in rows 18” apart. Thin to one strong plant per row foot. Corn is wind pollinated, so plant in blocks at least 5' x 5' to ensure adequate pollination. Maturity times of this sweet corn vary, continually harvest for the freshest, tenderest ears!

Intermountain-west pest concerns:  Earwigs can be a problem in irrigated gardens based in desert climates.  They are naturally aquatic, and attracted to irrigated landscapes, which most of our gardens are.  In corn, earwigs feed heavily on corn silks during the silking stage.  This can reduce successful pollination, and lead to ears with missing corn kernels where pollination failed.  Earwig damage to silks is easy to overlook, as the silks continue to elongate.  Silks that have been damaged by earwigs have browning on the ends of them. Alternatively, since earwigs are nocturnal feeders you can go out with a headlamp at night to see if they are feeding.  Get ready for a creepy crawly horror show though, you might see more freaky earwigs in one spot than you ever thought possible!

Option one:  In varieties where the husk wraps tightly around the growing silks of a corn ear, earwigs have a hard time damaging much of the silk, so these varieties might be best for organic production in areas where earwigs are a problem.  Giving Ground Seeds is currently working on assembling a list of varieties which exhibit this trait.

Option two:  Alternatively, you can spray the corn silks at dusk with Spinosad, an OMRI approved pesticide which is easy to find at any nursery or garden center.  The earwigs will feed on the silks, be poisoned, and die.  Pollinators can die from spinosad too though, so it's imperative spray take place at dusk and be concentrated on the silks.