My container corn flopped! Anyone know why??

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I bought the grow bag, watered faithfully and this is what I got..ears as long as a finger, some ears relatively empty of corn..relatively and eventually has turned out to be a waste of time and money expecting sweet corn from my own labors..good grief! Does anyone have an idea of what could have gone wrong?
q my container corn flopped anyone know why, container gardening, gardening, The best little ear out of the lot
The best little ear out of the lot
q my container corn flopped anyone know why, container gardening, gardening, 5 feet tall 8 seeds produced all this
5 feet tall, 8 seeds produced all this
  28 answers
  • Sandy Barton Sandy Barton on Aug 03, 2014
    My guess would be these cobs were not fertilized. Corn flowers dispense pollen and each of those little silk strands at the top of a cob need to receive pollen in order to pollinate and produce a seed (kernel) corn does best grown in a large plot. Here's a great article that might help you next time. http://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/corn/corn-pollination-how-to-hand-pollinate-corn.htm
  • Pamela Scruggs Pamela Scruggs on Aug 03, 2014
    Wow, who knew..thanks I'll read the article..I appreciate the tip!
  • Tracy C Tracy C on Aug 04, 2014
    sorry Pamela, but that's almost funny pic! I hate it when my money is wasted too. Hope you get a better crop next year.
  • Pamela Scruggs Pamela Scruggs on Aug 04, 2014
    I know right it wasn't funny so having nurtured them all these months to come out with this little pixie
  • Sandy Chidester Sandy Chidester on Aug 04, 2014
    Corn is wind pollinated. You can shake it to help pollinate. Too late now, but maybe yry again nect year?
  • James Bryan C James Bryan C on Aug 04, 2014
    Your plants suckered (Side Shoots) they will produce ears but they won't amount to much. The other problem is corn plantings must be in groups in order to have good pollination. Don't give up on growing sweet corn. Just plant it in the ground and in clusters of 6 if you just want a few ears.. or in rows 24 inches (Minimum) 36inches (Maximum) spacing apart with seeds 6 inches apart... in a container or grow bag it will grow, but the results are not always what the sales folks will tell you.. Some crops just don't do as good as they would in the good old dirt.
  • Marcia Hron Marcia Hron on Aug 04, 2014
    Sorry Pamela, but the pic of the cob with one kernel is really very funny!!!!!!
  • BR BR on Aug 04, 2014
    Wow, I'm hoping that's what happened to my corn--2 years in a row! I sure didn't know corn needs help to make sure pollination happens. Thanks for the info. Good luck to both of us next year.
  • Sibella Corbin Sibella Corbin on Aug 04, 2014
    Sorry,now I'm worry about our corn,have some in a old bathtub and in a very small garden.they look fine,so now to wait.
  • Polly Zieper Polly Zieper on Aug 04, 2014
    Douglas Hunt- Where are you when we need you?:)
  • Marie S Marie S on Aug 04, 2014
    the corn needs lots of sunshine also the little stalk that has little grain like seeds is what pollinate the corn.
  • Denise Rankin Denise Rankin on Aug 04, 2014
    Douglas should be along in a day or two. ;D In the mean time... The others are correct in that lack of pollination and suckering had caused your corn to fail. The too few plants and lack of the plant's spacing also contributed. Next year plant at least 12 stalks in three bags, 4 per bag and hand pollinate. You will have all winter to read up on how. Do Not give up! Even if you want to grow something easier i.e. lettuce. peas, carrots, ... you have learned at least what does not work for corn, which even seasoned gardeners have problems with getting to produce a well formed ear to eat. For 7 years I have tried to grow cucumbers. They always just disappeared, became diseased, the bunnies got them before they were big enough to eat (4"). So this year I was determined to have some cucumbers. I now am look at how to use 30 pounds of cucumbers! I have given away far more that I could ever eat and my vines are still producing!! Good luck and keep trying.
    • See 3 previous
    • Judy Judy on Aug 05, 2014
      @Delores Snellen I'd be willing to go out & pick early in the morning if I had anything to pick............
  • Judy Judy on Aug 04, 2014
    Looks like your corn didn't pollinate well. Each strand of silk at the top of the ear leads to a kernel of corn. If it doesn't get pollinated no corn kernel will form. The tassels at the top of the plant contain the pollen. There should only be 2 (occasionally 3) ears growing separately out of the main stalk at a leaf junction. Corn likes rich soil that's high in nitrogen (LOVES rotted chicken manure), plenty of sunshine & since they have a very shallow root system, plenty of water. Plants should be spaced about a foot apart & planted in blocks rather than rows to ensure good pollination. Better luck next year.
    • See 1 previous
    • Judy Judy on Aug 07, 2014
      @Wolv You're welcome....good luck next year.
  • Jeri Hansen Jeri Hansen on Aug 04, 2014
    Here In North Idaho unless you have a greenhouse or a covered above garden bed we can't grow corn. Check with you local greenhouses.
  • Handy Lady Red Handy Lady Red on Aug 04, 2014
    Corn has to be 3-4 To a hole and then I plant 4 holes to one square foot and it needs full sun I fed a family of four and froze corn too from six square feet 2 feet to each 3 foot square box and planted green beans in with the corn to use the corn for the beans to climb. But the others are right it didn't pollinate right and had side shoots.
    • See 5 previous
    • Handy Lady Red Handy Lady Red on Aug 19, 2014
      I have seen the bag thing and thought how cute might work for salad or herbals or potato's if you stacked them but I'm sure others said the same about my boxes
  • April E April E on Aug 04, 2014
    i am so sorry you got suckered into the bag thing. it is a gimmick grow, great for the seller sucks for the consumer. corn needs more space and you need at least 12 plant in a square planting to get a good crop if you have a sunny corner in your back yard try again next year and enjoy a good crop
    • See 1 previous
    • Judy Judy on Aug 09, 2014
      @Pamela Scruggs For good pollination corn should be planted in a block or square rather than in rows. So plant a row of say 4 plants, then another about a foot in front of it & then another....etc. until you have a square area planted with corn stalks about a foot apart.
  • Colimbia1 Colimbia1 on Aug 04, 2014
    I agree. Don't buy the bags. Work your soil and enrich it. Buy seeds from a reputable seed company like Burpee or Gurnsey. Then do like others say. Plant many, many plants where they get lots of direct sun.
  • Colimbia1 Colimbia1 on Aug 05, 2014
    @1 result is available, use up and down arrow keys to navigate.Denise RankinCucumbers are susceptible to a borer. They attack the plant where the stem comes out of the ground. Check with your county or state agricultural department for advice on what to use to prevent them.
  • Linda Mooney Linda Mooney on Aug 05, 2014
    Didn't get pollenated, You have to pollenate yourself,take tassels from top and rub it all over all tops watch pollen fly around, The tallest stalk will be first to do .
  • Delores Snellen Delores Snellen on Aug 05, 2014
    My corn did not do well this year and I plant it right Could be just the corn also Sometimes the seeds don't produce for one reason or another. Mine did get pollinated and are spaced right I have had very few ripe tomatoes Vines are loaded with green ones but not ripening. They will probably do so while I am in hospital
    • Judy Judy on Aug 07, 2014
      @Delores Snellen My dad liked to soak the corn seed in water overnight before he planted it. He said it gave it a head start. Corn likes nitrogen so manure & plenty of water for its shallow root system. Be patient with the tomatoes. Different varieties ripen at different times.
  • Mary Ann Mary Ann on Aug 05, 2014
    I am in NE Kansas, and planted "On Deck" hybrid container corn last year... it failed. It didn't get pollinated... and then our goats got it, but it was NOT growing well. I don't think it was in a big enough container (for deep roots). I had ONE volunteer stalk come up in the ground this year, and oddly enough... IT'S doing well!
    • Judy Judy on Aug 06, 2014
      @Mary Ann Corn isn't really suited to container gardening. Its roots are very shallow & need room to spread out. That's why it's doing better in the ground.
  • I need help with broccoli. Its my first attempt at growing it. don't know what its supposed to look like. Mine is really tall and no broccoli.
    • Delores Snellen Delores Snellen on Aug 08, 2014
      @Chris Anderson-Montgomery The broccoli head will appear at the center of the stalk. Mine is also tall Broccoli doesn't do really well in hot weather
  • Sandy Barton Sandy Barton on Aug 08, 2014
    Broccoli is a cool and cold weather crop. In summer it tends to bolt and go to seed.....once the heads start to form. You might try planting some young plants now, the heat will get them growing, then once it starts to cool off in autumn, they should form lovely heads! Here's a really cool way to eat broccoli....(when you have it..LOL) cut the florets off individually, cut the larger ones in half, place all in a ziplock bag, add chopped bits of garlic, olive oil - enough to coat and then dump it all onto a cookie sheet and bake in a hot oven (about 375 to 400) - but watch it so it doesn't burn. Broccoli chips, serve once they are crisp with a dip. Amazing. You can also do this with kale and other veg that can be cut down!
  • Handy Lady Red Handy Lady Red on Aug 19, 2014
    Yep I didn't plant till around August in OK I don't grow anything here in Az between the wind and the dirt you can't keep water around the plants long enough for them to get a good drink
  • Martha Martha on Sep 15, 2014
    I agree about planting corn in a square pattern. Corn has a large distance between the tassels on the top of the stalk where the pollen grows to the silks (flowers) on the ears. When it's planted strung out in a long row, the kernels often don't grow because they don't get pollinated. Corn grows fast, so it needs a lot of water -- probably more than you'd want to give a bag on your porch. It's also possible the porch shelters the corn from the wind, which distributes the pollen. I think the corn bags are a rip-off.
  • Judy Judy on Jan 18, 2015
    Never even thought of corn in a bag...but my potatoes, carrots & turnips in separate bags overwhelmed me. About 60 potatoes in a 15 lb bag, lots of good fertilizer, organic mulch, potash (for all root crops) and good crumbly soil. I also incorporated a little bit of sand to help roots stretch. We don't eat turnips much so used a smaller 10 lb bag & then carrots in another 15 lb bag with radishes planted right on to of carrot bag. My first experience with bag planting and I am really pleased with the results. I DID read all the literature I could find on bag gardening & pretty much followed all the directions. My corn was in a 4x4 foot raised bed and did OK but think I'll use a larger area this year.
  • Shaza Lee Shaza Lee on Jun 14, 2015
    your corn was not pollinated. it is normally pollinated by the wind in a large field. For a small amount such as you had .. it is necessary to hand pollinate. as the tassels are formed cut them off and use it like a feather duster.. shaking and rubbing a bit off on the other ears silks. it is important to understand how plants grow to be successful in gardening. all vegetables, fruits, seeds are a result of sexual reproduction. most of them are poillinated by bees, some of them , like corn, are wind pollinated. if the tassels form earlier than the silk.. cut the tassel off and save it in a plastic bag until you see silks that are ready to accept the pollen.
  • Pammy Pammy on Jun 15, 2015
    Corn is a finicky grass even though the roots are shallow it still needs its space and requires room to pollinate; surprised they sell it in a bag planter? Take the whole bag to customer service and ask for your money back. :) Call your local Extension Service some of them even offer garden plots to the community but they are your go to people. Growing ~ canning ~ you name it and they will even test your pressure caner to boot. They are good to know especially in your local area as different planting zones require different information
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