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Vegetable Gardening: Ants on corn

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Forum: Vegetable GardeningReplies: 17, Views: 102
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passiflora_pink

passiflora_pink
Shelby County, AL
(Zone 8a)

July 27, 2013
7:43 AM

Post #9613290

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
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drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 27, 2013
8:44 PM

Post #9613923

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.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 28, 2013
4:56 AM

Post #9614075

Wow, that's a lot of ants!

I agree with drobarr.

passiflora_pink

passiflora_pink
Shelby County, AL
(Zone 8a)

July 28, 2013
5:04 AM

Post #9614083

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!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 28, 2013
5:13 AM

Post #9614094

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!

passiflora_pink

passiflora_pink
Shelby County, AL
(Zone 8a)

July 28, 2013
12:01 PM

Post #9614406

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
Click the image for an enlarged view.

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 28, 2013
12:22 PM

Post #9614422

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

passiflora_pink

passiflora_pink
Shelby County, AL
(Zone 8a)

July 28, 2013
12:49 PM

Post #9614442

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

Thumbnail by passiflora_pink
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Seedfork
Enterprise, AL
(Zone 8b)

July 28, 2013
1:55 PM

Post #9614494

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!

HoneybeeNC

HoneybeeNC
Charlotte, NC
(Zone 7b)

July 28, 2013
2:43 PM

Post #9614523

passiflora - that's amazing.

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

passiflora_pink

passiflora_pink
Shelby County, AL
(Zone 8a)

July 28, 2013
5:52 PM

Post #9614688

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

drobarr

drobarr
Hummelstown, PA
(Zone 6b)

July 28, 2013
8:31 PM

Post #9614832

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

passiflora_pink

passiflora_pink
Shelby County, AL
(Zone 8a)

September 17, 2013
11:03 AM

Post #9662369

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

jmc1987

jmc1987
Cascade, VA
(Zone 7a)

September 17, 2013
11:58 AM

Post #9662399

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

jmc1987

jmc1987
Cascade, VA
(Zone 7a)

September 17, 2013
12:00 PM

Post #9662401

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

jmc1987

jmc1987
Cascade, VA
(Zone 7a)

September 17, 2013
12:28 PM

Post #9662429

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

passiflora_pink

passiflora_pink
Shelby County, AL
(Zone 8a)

September 18, 2013
4:29 AM

Post #9662918

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.

kittriana

kittriana
Magnolia, TX
(Zone 8b)

September 18, 2013
10:58 AM

Post #9663234

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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