Ants on corn

Central, AL(Zone 8a)

This is my first year growing corn. I have had problems with ants...they are covering the plants! Is this common? I can't pick any corn without getting ants all over me. Are they after the corn itself or something else?

Thumbnail by passiflora_pink
Hummelstown, PA(Zone 6b)

Ants may be after the corn or could also be after aphids and the honeydew they secret.

If there are aphids you can apply insecticidal soap. For the ants you can try neem oil/pyrethrin spray which will also get the aphids as well. Also Diatamacious earth spread around the base of the corn plants or around their nest is effective against many species of ants.

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Wow, that's a lot of ants!

I agree with drobarr.

Central, AL(Zone 8a)

Thanks! I had put Diatomaceous earth out after taking that photo but I think the problem had become too far advanced for that. Plus it has been raining every day clumping up the D.E.

I put on gloves and long sleeves and picked some of the corn. When I pulled off the outer "shucks" there were no ants on the inner layers. So I guess the corn is ant- free.

Next time I will watch for ants and get an early start with management!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

passiflora - sounds like you have a good corn harvest.

With all the rain we've been having, I suspect ants are having a hard time keeping their nests dry. After a huge downpour, it's very common for ants to climb up the nearest plant to keep from drowning!

Central, AL(Zone 8a)

I had never grown corn before, but just had to try it when I saw pictures of a beautiful new variety, Glass Gem. I have submitted some photos to Plant Files since there weren't any there yet. I was happy that even as a novice I had some success with it. Here is an example!

Thumbnail by passiflora_pink
Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

Wow, so many pretty colors. They look like glass beads, so I guess that's where this corn got its name.

Central, AL(Zone 8a)

Every ear is different. It was like Christmas, shucking each ear to see what was there!

Thumbnail by passiflora_pink
Enterprise, AL(Zone 8b)

Wow, I never saw corn like that before. I wonder how well it keeps the colors as it dries? Is it edible, how does it taste. Or is it just for show!

Charlotte, NC(Zone 7b)

passiflora - that's amazing.

I'm waiting to see what answers you give to Seedforks questions.

Central, AL(Zone 8a)

It can be popped as popcorn or used as ornamental corn. I am going to save the prettiest ones to grow next year.

Here is info from the website where I bought it. I had to get on a waiting list and was allotted a limited amount. It should be more widely available this coming year.

http://www.nativeseeds.org/community/199-the-story-of-glass-gem-corn-beauty-history-and-hope

Hummelstown, PA(Zone 6b)

beautiful corn! Thanks for sharing the pictures as well as the link!

Central, AL(Zone 8a)

Drobarr, now I know your last name. My grandmother on Dad's side had the same (her maiden name). Maybe we are distant cousins. I have relatives on Mom's side in PA also.

Thanks again for your advice!

I dried some ears for planting...how do you get the hard kernels off the ear to save as seed?

This message was edited Sep 17, 2013 12:03 PM

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

have you used any of it for popcorn yet? How did it perform in that department? :)

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

with such colors, i see it as not only fall decor, but possibly spring / easter decor :)

Cascade, VA(Zone 7a)

as far as collecting seed, i have read one place that you could take a properly dried cob, and give it a twist in the middle and it said that some should be loosened and fall off, i am not giving any validity to it, just something i have read

Central, AL(Zone 8a)

Haven't tried to pop it. It would help to get the kernels off the cob first, I suppose. But only a limited amount of seed was available this year for purchase, and I need to save them for planting.

Magnolia, TX(Zone 8b)

It is an old Indian style corn. The kernals when properly dried you shuck with the hand, twist and the loose ones fall. Ruby corn, Blue corn, Flint corn. It is basic corn, not sweet or candy varieties. They don't usually seed prolifically, but grow better than some of the newer varieties in drought years. Not a good popping corn, newer varieties were raised to respond to popping conditions. We raised it in NM when I was little, always loved seeing what it would look like.

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