Big chicken...

..that's me for not getting seed in the ground months ago.
So I'm chickening out; buying little veggie plants from a good Japanese nursery.
They only had Bantam corn, so I'll have to buy more elsewhere.
QUESTION: Do I have to plant different varieties very far apart, so they won't get intimate? If they even can do the deed, that is..
TIA
HB
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On 5/1/2014 5:34 PM, Higgs Boson wrote:

If you plan to eat the corn and not save any seeds for next year, each cob will reflect the plant on which it grows without regard for the source of pollen. On the other hand, if you plan to save seeds for planting next year, planting different varieties even 100 feet apart is likely to yield hybrids.
Look at the situation with stone fruits. Some peaches (e.g., 'Indian Free', 'J.H. Hale') and some plums (e.g., 'Early Laxton', 'Seneca', 'Satsuma') require cross-pollination from a different variety to set fruit. No matter what other variety provides the pollen, however, the fruit is always the variety of the tree on which it grows. But the seeds from those fruits will likely yield plants with fruit quite different.
I have dwarf citrus -- a navel orange, a Eureka lemon, a kumquat, and a tangelo -- growing relatively close to each other. Each produces fruit according to the plant on which the fruit forms even though some of these are in flower at the same time with bees traveling between them. Thus, my lemon tree has oblong, yellow fruits that are strictly lemons; and my kumquat small, oval fruits that are clearly kumquats.
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David E. Ross
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Higgs Boson wrote:

In general it doesn't matter much unless you are saving seed and want to keep a pure breeding line, which will be impossible if using hybrids.
Corn is wind pollinated but the pollen doesn't usually go very far, it is advisable to plant in blocks instead of rows to get good pollination.
D
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David E. Ross said:

Since with corn you are eating the seed itself, the pollen parent actually matters. This is not the case with fruits, where the seed is discarded and the edible part is supplied by the female parent.
***All types of sweetcorn require isolation from popcorn and field corn.***
Normal sugary (su) and sugar enhanced (se) sweetcorns need to be isolated from shrunken aka supersweet (sh2) types.
Shrunken (sh2) should be islolated from normal sugary (su) types.
There are some newer types, called "synergistic" which are best isolated from (sh2) and (su) types, but are OK with (se) types.
Cross pollination with the wrong varieties can lead to tough, starchy kernels.
Bantam is a normal sugary (su) corn.
I grow mainly (se) types myself, sometimes with synergistic, and have good results (when not faced with horrendous heat and drought during tasselling).
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Pat in Plymouth MI

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On Wednesday, May 7, 2014 6:24:45 AM UTC-7, Pat Kiewicz wrote:

I bow before thy erudition!
Actually, this info is going to be a huge help when I go to buy different variety corn plants. I want more, because nursery said the Bantam only produced 2 cobs?
In reply to both your good self and the other posters, I'm planting to eat, not to save. No field corn, no popcorn.
NEW TOPIC: Months ago I planted a yellow and white hybrid corn seed touted by the nursery, but zip germinated. I just took some of the remaining seeds and did the moist paper towel thing to test germination before wasting time & space in the earth. This works on some seeds, but will it work with corn, or does it take too long?
Thanks to all for good advice.
HB
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Higgs Boson said:

As you should! 8^)

Under *ideal* conditions, you can get teo ears. My rule of thumb is one good ear per plant as a reasonable expectation and another (even partly pollinated) is a bonus.

This should work with corn. Seeds for sweetcorn can be kept for 2 years with reasonable expectation for germination, but beyond that it's best to get fresh seed.
Corn seeds are a big chunk of food, very popular with seed maggots, mice and birds. Voles will sometimes pull the emerging plants down into the ground and make them disappear. In warm soil they should begin to show sprouts within a week. If you mark where you've planted you could check them (carefully) to see if the seeds are still there or have been swiped or consumed by maggots.
A while back I had a male cardinal who had learned to pull up my corn plants when they had barely emerged and nip off the remaining kernel, so I had to net the corn to keep him out. He must have died and took his secret with him, as when I decided to try planting without nets a couple of years ago, no more extractions.
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Pat in Plymouth MI

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Pat Kiewicz wrote:

You should live in the land of parrots. If a flock discovers un-netted corn they can strip the entire block in minutes and if netted make a big mess trying to chew through the net.
I had a friend in the city who thought it was cute to feed some cockatoos that had taken up residence in the district (not their native place). They ate her wooden balcony balustrade. She was renting. The landlord was not amused. She hid the feeding tray and played dumb - which wasn't too difficult.
D
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