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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?
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.
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!
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!
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
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.