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New corn from Burpee?

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

I just got my Burpee catalog & they're showing a "new" corn, On Deck Hybrid that supposedly was designed for container gardening. But I think this would be great in my raised beds. It's an sh2 hybrid, and supposedly only grows 4-5' tall with 2-3 ears per stalk. This would definitely improve my corn harvest. I would love something that gives more than 1 ear per stalk. I usually plant ambrosia. What do you all think?

http://www.burpee.com/vegetables/corn/corn-on-deck-hybrid-prod003168.html?catId=2013&trail=

If not this one, what's a good corn that grows more than 1 ear per stalk?

This message was edited Dec 27, 2012 10:07 AM

Oceanside, CA(Zone 10a)

I ordered some of those seeds. Thought I would give it a try this year. I'm curious to see if what they say is true....2-3 ears per stalk. I usually plant Silver Queen, which has given me 2 ears on a stalk. But that's on about 40% of the plants and a lot of the time the 2nd ear is only partially developed. Ambrosia generally only gives me 1 per stalk, too.

Mohrsville, PA(Zone 6a)

I've tried several varieties over the years, and I've had the best results with Honey and Pearl. This year was the first year I tried corn in raised beds, and was very impressed with the results. It's available from sources like Parks, Twilley, etc. Most stalks had 2 ears and excellent taste.

Oceanside, CA(Zone 10a)

Here's my quandary...

Do I grow the "Burpee on the Deck" variety and hope they do as well as the few varieties I've grown before? Or do I trust that they will grow, solid ears? I honestly don't care if I get multiple ears as long as they produce. Growing 2 types of corn really isn't an option.

Richland, WA(Zone 7b)

I don't think I would put all my eggs into the new corn-- it has to prove itself first.

Pueblo, CO(Zone 5b)

Are you sure you couldn't squeeze in 2 varieties? I like to try and figure out whether it was a bad/good: variety or year or location. One new variety is okay if it turns out well, but if it doesn't it is hard to tell why.
I guess I hadn't noticed - is three ears per stock that unusual? Or is it 3 ears on a short stock that is unusual?

Oceanside, CA(Zone 10a)

I'm by no means an expert when it comes to corn. I know just enough to make me dangerous. Hoping this thread takes off with some good info.

I've grown corn only 3 times in the past in containers(30+ plants each time) and while I have had some decent success each time(40-45 ears), I chalk that up to being very lucky. I got by with lots of water, lots of nitrogen and lots of BT. I know corn cross pollinates easily and sh2 corn should be isolated or you could end up with bad tasting corn.

I have no clue if 2 different varieties of sh2 corn would be ok (or not) to grow at the same time? I guess what I could do is grow the "On The Deck" corn first. Then start another variety (the ones that I know do well) a month later. That should keep them staggered enough so they won't tassel together and cross pollinate.

I'm not sure if 3 ears is unusual or not. But for me it would be. I'm happy when 2 ears form and fill out on a stalk.

Madison, AL(Zone 7b)

Caveat: I've never actually grown corn on my own as an adult. But...

... I've always been told that you need a patch of about 10'x10' to get good pollination, or else you need to hand pollinate. I'm growing two blocks of 4'x10' this year of each variety, and I'll stagger the timing so they won't cross.

Central, TX(Zone 8b)

Conventionally you need a block of corn plants at least a 4 rows square (corn is wind pollinated). If you want to give deck corn a try you might want to study up on hand pollination just to be sure you get something out of the effort or just leave it be and see what happens.

Note: Contact your county Extension Office for recommended corn varieties, Google those to find out how many ears are produced per plant.

This message was edited Dec 30, 2012 3:30 PM

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

corn thinks it is giving you a lot of seeds- each kernal is a plant- have seen some corn make several ears, don't know what it was

Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

An article addressing the provision of light to the lower canopy of the corn from http://docs.lib.purdue.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1005&context=pmcg&sei-redir=1&referer=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.bing.com%2Fsearch%3Fform%3DMOZPSB%26pc%3DMOZO%26q%3Dmore%2Blight%2Bon%2Bthe%2Blower%2Bcanopy%2Bof%2Bthe%2Bcorn%2Bincreased%2Byield#search=%22more%20light%20lower%20canopy%20corn%20increased%20yield%22

This article has some interesting points: http://www.ipni.net/ppiweb/bcrops.nsf/%24webindex/768E8C2C854019AE852568EF00543357/%24file/00-1p20.pdf

A corn yield search: http://www.bing.com/search?form=MOZPSB&pc=MOZO&q=more+light+on+the+lower+canopy+of+the+corn+increased+yield

Until outside temps got so low -22 that I couldn't maintain the GH temperature adequately, my corn was doing beautifully- tasseling, with hand and fan pollination - while they were not receiving additional lighting, just the November sunshine. The rows were very close together in a square pattern to optimize pollination, but the twin-row, from the research I've read, would have been better. The soil I used was very sandy raised bed, augmented with natural chicken manure/wood shavings, and a mixture of crushed aspirin, crushed calcium tablets, Epsom salts (to lower ph), a little "Happy Frog" brand soil conditioner, and crushed iron tablets that I added into the bed before planting. I was growing Bantam corn. It froze while in the beginning tasseling stage, so I don't know whether they would have had more than one ear on each stalk. They were beautiful, though, with no signs of calciium deficiency, at least to my eyes they were. Next time I will do twin rows and put down space blankets along the bottom of the canopy to utilize all possible light. I might also add some wood ash to the soil, but what I used looked like it was doing well.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Read where harrvesting for'baby ears' makes more per stalk. Take a LOT of watching to do tho.

Kankakee, IL(Zone 5b)

I have always hard trouble with corn. It doesn't help that there are large cornfields all around me. One year I took extra care... side dressing, composting when it was a foot high only to have it all flattened by wind gusts. It was doing so well too. 6 feet high and starting to tassle and produce sigh.

Anyhoo, last year I tried Blue Jade heirloom. They said about 3-4 feet high with up to 8 ears per plant. Great for small spaces. Mostly true except the 8 ears (more like 3 tops) and they were tiny. Only about 3-4 inches. Of course it wasnt super sweet as it was an heirloom and not a hybrid, but it wasn't bad. It is blue too which was interesting and pretty.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

When our corn lays over we just pile more dirt up around it and stand it back up-

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

I have to pound stakes around the perimeter of my sweet corn bed and weave jute/twine at various levels across the bed (sort of like a big cat's cradle). The corn stalks grow up through the jute mesh. Otherwise the wind flattens the stalks almost once a week.

New Orleans, LA(Zone 9a)

Quote from terri_emory :
I have to pound stakes around the perimeter of my sweet corn bed and weave jute/twine at various levels across the bed (sort of like a big cat's cradle). The corn stalks grow up through the jute mesh. Otherwise the wind flattens the stalks almost once a week.


I really like this idea! I always have the same problem with wind, so I'm going to give this a try this year.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

You can string and different heights.

I remember seeing a gardening show where they hung a cattle panel from post (flat ways) for the same effect, but the string is way is easier for one person to set it up.

Kankakee, IL(Zone 5b)

Quote from terri_emory :
I have to pound stakes around the perimeter of my sweet corn bed and weave jute/twine at various levels across the bed (sort of like a big cat's cradle). The corn stalks grow up through the jute mesh. Otherwise the wind flattens the stalks almost once a week.



That is an EXCELLENT idea! I'm not growing corn this year but next year I'm going to try this!!!

Alexandria, VA

I've ordered, and received, the On Deck corn this year. I've never grown corn before, so I have no idea what to expect. The seed pack itself doesn't say anything about growing it in containers and gives directions for planting like it would any other corn. I'm planting it in a small, 4 x 4 raised bed and since I've never grown corn before I really don't know how many seeds to plant in that space, and if I should do rows or maybe plant them in 4 circles - one in each corner of the bed - to mimic how the catalog says they should be planted in a container. I was pretty disappointed in the packet instructions.

I also want to try 3 sisters with this corn. Never did this either so this entire deal will be new to me. I was thinking of doing the 4 circles of corn in the corners of the bed, with a bean plant in each corner and then 1 squash plant in the center. Any thoughts on this?

This message was edited Jan 28, 2013 9:53 AM

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Rows are for machines to help make growing simple. In a raised bed you wouldn't need to keep rows. When the 3 sister method is used in older times the corn was grown in circular clumps of maybe 7 stalks just far enough apart to allow the beans to use the stalks and squash to be planted at the base of the stalks as well. Each clump had space enough around them to harvest beans, and still close enuff that the corn pollen could get the growing ears. The beans helped hold the stalks together as well. Like a shock of corn in Fall fields...

Alexandria, VA

Then it sounds like my plan should work well. In a 4 x 4 bed, having 4 "clumps" of corn (1 clump in each corner) with 1 squash plant in the center of the bed (we don't eat much squash so I plant is enough) how many seeds should I plant per clump? Basically each clump would have a bit under a 2 x 2 space assuming a bit of space in the center for the squash.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

For the corn, lower the bed at least 4" but reserve the dirt, (it tends to climb out of its spot and you'll need to come back in and throw the dirt in around the bases. If you fertilize and water a bit more, you can space the corn still 6" apart ( the stalks are apt to get at least 1.5" thick, or even 2", that would leave only 2" tween stalks, so 6" or a bit more. Va probably could use a bit wider space tween plants for air circulation...If you try to encircle the squash with the corn you might have a problem- how about a mound for the squash between the clumps? then beans inside the corn or to the side of the clump where it can be reached.

Alexandria, VA

I don't really mean to encircle the squash with corn. If you picture a square box, and then in each corner of the box would be a group of corn - maybe 6 stalks in each corner. And the squash (one plant) would be in the center of the box (not in the center of the mounds of corn).

Well 'll try it and see - that's what gardening is all about anyhow.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

That should work.

Carrollton, TX(Zone 8a)

The squirrels love it when I try to grow corn in my back yard. I've given up on trying just to spite those darn rodents.

Alexandria, VA

Squirrels get after my tomatoes so I suspect they'll do the same with corn. They love to take a ripe tomato (one that I've been waiting for that "perfect time" to pick"), pick it about an hour before I plan to, take one bite out of it, and toss it in the yard.

League City, TX(Zone 9a)

Yup, I bought the on-deck hybrid as well recently and should be receiving them soon. I will plant them in some containers and maybe a smart pot or two if I have some to spare. Good to see some tips on staking...I don't see how these *can't* get blown over, so I will have to take precautions.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

I have had far to many stads of corn blown over. Nowhen it gets about 3 feet high I go down the sides of the rows and pile a mound of dirt on then after the corn is polinated I top the corn down to the first ear. Works and is easy to do with my troy bilt and the hiller attachment. Prior to 1981 when I got my troy built I did it with a front tiller and then raked it.

Thumbnail by eweed Thumbnail by eweed Thumbnail by eweed Thumbnail by eweed
Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

Wow, nice garden, eweed! Nice pics.

League City, TX(Zone 9a)

Thanks for the tips, eweed. Never thought about trimming the corn like that.

You have an excellent garden...or farm! Love the pics- nice shot of the corn, sunflowers & rainbow. Plus the onions look great as well.

Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Thanks Solace medical reasons find me making a serious cut back this year. Just to much work for my diabetes body that also suffers from artery disease I will grow about half this year and much of that in 24 inch high x 4'x12' raised boxes, I have four of theses so far and materials to do 2 more 16 inches high.

l to r
1 hanging waves.
2sweet peas.
3sweet onions.
4sweet royal Ann cherrys.
5 shallots and a bit of garlic

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Everson, WA(Zone 8a)

Thanks John I got the corn tip from the corn cannery growers. In 66 and 67 I helped my fil along with my bil grow 650 acres of corn. When the time was right the cannery sent in tractors mounted with blades like a rotary lawn mower that trimmed the corn. This did three things.

1 It stopped the corn from blowing over.
2 It helped ripen it faster
3 and it made it eaiser to pick because the machine did not have as much vegatation to run through so there were way less machine jams. Any way try trimming half way down from the tassel to your top ear and I guarentee you will be happy

It has a down side it also helps it ripen at the same time reducing your window to snack from the garden but it is a good point if you can or freeze a lot.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

Gonna try that one...

Randolph, MA(Zone 6a)

I'm going to give the Burpee corn in the container a shot. It'll be fun to watch it grow. Can't wait!

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Yes, a good tip about topping the corn after polination. I had heard of that one, but somehow it never really registered to try it with sweet corn. I guess because I usually same back the stalks to use for H'ween decorations. My garden is growing and growing and DH wants more sweet corn this year. I'll still do the weaving in the one bed, but I've just set up and new bed being prepped for sweet corn. And a new upright freezer to save it in. I've been watching U-Tube videos on how the "hill" corn. I'm wanting to try it. I'm still not trusting our wind, though. My garden is in the middle of a really windy microcosm. So I'm using my tried and true method on one bed and the new "hill" method on the other. That way I have a fail safe...

suziegrn, good luck ith the Burpee corn.

Oceanside, CA(Zone 10a)

Been meaning to get back to this thread for months now. But life continues to get in the way of thing I want to do :) Anyways...

I initially started 50 On the Deck Corn seeds. Only 24 sprouted. I've never had such crappy germination for any vegetable. BUT, I partially blame these god awful "Root Riot" sponge plugs. I won't get into how much I dislike them, that's another topic. I'll have to give my friend some grief for giving them to me to try :) So, now I want to try the normal way I start seeds, and then I can find the culprit for the abysmal germination rate. It's either Burpee or Root Riot plugs. I just started another 50 the usual way. So we'll see.

I've grown 14 full sized, corn plants(Silver Queen, Ambrosia, etc.) per box before. All were wonderful. I only planted 10 in each box of these container corn. So we shall see how they compare. The ones that sprouted are starting to grow.....

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Alexandria, VA

Oooooh thanks for that update! A few questions:

1) What size are those boxes?

2) Why did you plant less of the On Deck variety than you have other when these are supposedly specially made for containers?

3) How long was germination?

Please keep us updated. I haved even started mine yet cause it won't warm up even a little.

Monte Vista, CO(Zone 4a)

When did you plant the corn in your picture, Ray_der_Phan?

Oceanside, CA(Zone 10a)

Quote from ladysoth :
Oooooh thanks for that update! A few questions:

1) What size are those boxes?

2) Why did you plant less of the On Deck variety than you have other when these are supposedly specially made for containers?

3) How long was germination?

Please keep us updated. I haved even started mine yet cause it won't warm up even a little.[/quote]

I did plant them a little early. I would usually want them this size in May. But once corn sprouts, there's no slowing it down.

1) These boxes are the original Garden Patch self-watering boxes(about 6 years old) with a 4 gallon reservoir. http://www.agardenpatch.com/ I have a couple of the newer boxes and they're not as big or durable as the old ones. Not sure what the exact measurements are on the old ones. My guess is 30"L x 16"W x 13"H. I will measure later and update.

2) Mainly because of the poor germination. I also remembering having to fill the reservoir daily when I planted more. So smaller sized corn, and less of them....I hope to fill with water every other day. Guess the best answer would be, adjusting to my future laziness.

3) The ones that germinated, sprouted fast. A few days to a week. There was a few stragglers that took 12-15 days.


[quote="Solace"]When did you plant the corn in your picture, Ray_der_Phan?


You mean when I planted them in the containers? If so, 2 weeks, 3 days ago. They were a 3rd of the size when I planted them in the container. Weather has been steadily nice the past couple weeks and plus they are now getting full doses of fertilizer. I expect them to be 4-6" bigger than that picture this weekend. But then again, that would be for normal sized corn. Not sure what to expect with these guys.



Oceanside, CA(Zone 10a)

Here's an update of the, On the Deck Corn. So far, so good. They have been tasseling for about a week. Well, 15 are tasseling, 5 are just starting. Looks like most have 3-4 ears/silking per stalk. So we shall see in a couple weeks if they fill out well. I have 2 complaints so far, poor germination and not the strongest/sturdiest stalks. Had some high winds last week that knocked down 5 or 6 of them. So had to zip tie a few. Never had that problem with the few other varieties I've grown before.

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