Silver Queen Corn – Pollination

Q: Every year I plant Silver Queen corn. My plants look great but the ears of corn only have kernels on two-thirds of the cob nearest the stalk.

A: It’s a pollination problem. Corn pollen is transferred by breezes among the stalks. In my experience, you’ll have this poor kernel count issue if you plant corn in a single row. Next time, plant in a square block of plants so pollen doesn’t have to travel far. A second option is to observe your corn tops and ears, watching for the day when pollen begins appearing on the tassels and when silks have emerged from the ears. Walk through the stalks each morning and pat each one sharply with your fingers to shake lots of pollen loose. Do this for the week that pollen is shed and you should have plenty of full ears.