Tag Archive for: Raising corn in Arizona

I’m not sure if that is a good title for this post, but I couldn’t think of a better one to describe my ripening corn in my vegetable garden.

Our corn stalks have really taken off in terms of growth.  Each day, they grow noticeably by inches.  Last week, the top part of the corn stalks began to form….the male part of the plant called the tassel.

Corn Ripening Stages

Corn Ripening Stages

Did you know that corn is actually an herb that comes from the same family as grass?

Corn Ripening Stages

Corn Ripening Stages

The tassels of the corn stalks are full of yellow pollen.

Our attention was so focused on the tassels that we did not initially notice something growing out of the sides of the corn stalks….

Corn Ripening Stages

Corn silk has started to form.  Each silk leads to a single ovary and when fertilized will turn in a single kernel of corn.

Now corn should be planted in rows of at least three to ensure pollination.  My vegetable garden only has two rows, so the kids and I assisted with the pollination process by lightly shaking the cornstalks once a day.  Whenever we do this, a light cloud of yellow pollen falls onto the silk.

Corn Ripening Stages

Once the corn has been fertilized, the silk turns brown within 30 minutes indicating that it has been successfully pollinated.  If you look closely at the picture above, you can see the pollen sticking to the silk.

corn stalk

Do you see what I see?  There are two ears on this corn stalk.  A corn stalk produces at least one ear of corn, but many varieties produce two.  The second forms after the first and is always smaller.

I bet you didn’t expect all of this corn trivia when you started to read this post, did you?  Well, I love learning new things and vegetable gardening is somewhat new to me and I find so much of what I have learned fascinating.

I hope you all have a great day!

Container Corn is “For The Birds”