Suckers on Corn : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

Sorry if this is a repeat, I thought I posted it, but got no responses, and can't find it. I planted corn this year (Stokes, Grant) and had read somewhere NOT to remove the suckers. It froze here with the ears nearly ripe :(( It was an early freeze, so it would have made it in a normal year. Common sense tells me those suckers took a lot of energy. I would much rather have had a couple good ears on each plant than try to go for more on the suckers. Does anyone know whether it would change the ripening date? It already took longer than the 53 days on the packet. Next year I may grow them in a crib with my melons which I cover with black plastic at night to provide needed darkness. We're still at 16 hours of daylight now. Thank You, Jill

-- Jill Schreiber (, August 21, 2000


Where are you in AK Jill? Matanuska Valley? My experience was in SE, and never tried corn. Nonetheless, I have never worried about suckers, and don't believe they have any effect on maturity dates. What variety did you grow? I may have some ideas on a shorter season variety, or ways to fool mother nature. GL!

-- Brad (, August 21, 2000.

Jill, my response is absolutely of no value, other than an opinion from the deep south. Farmers once "suckered" tobacco, they never did it to corn, that I ever heard of. They lived to eat harvested corn (mumm, good!).

-- Once Upon (, August 21, 2000.

I'm in the Interior, near Fairbanks. The corn was for 'North of Minniapolous' so I thought I made a good pick. Let me know if there's a better variety. I think this years cold wet weather killed us. Otherwise this was promising looking corn! Unless I hear some serious advice against it, I'll sucker it next year. Thanks for the help, Jill

-- Jill Schreiber (, August 24, 2000.

Let me know how the "suckering" works out. I suspect, but cannot point to research supporting this, that you will waste some time. Corn, even short season varities, need warmth to germinate and grow. I suggest you start your corn early and cover it with a plastic, (or a floating row cover such as reemay), supported to keep it off the ground by a couple of inches. Even here in the deep south (Maine) our corn was very late due to cool damp weather. I think you got hit by the weather bug rather than bad seed or procedures. GL!

-- Brad (, August 24, 2000.

This question just came up on Public Radio a couple weeks ago. The president of Jung's seed commented that the current information that they have is to leave the suckers on the corn; they are part of the parent plant and do alot of photosynthesis and feed your corn plants, therefore, the ears too. He also opined that removing the suckers was a lot of unneccessary work, and could damage the parent stem leaving it open to infection. I'm in zone 3 and I have yet to see anyone in our local get sweet corn for the table...

-- Julie Froelich (, August 25, 2000.

Thanks again for the advice. For Brad, the weather was TERRIBLE and still is!! and I think it is the reason for the no corn. We grew it under clear plastic, cut holes for the 12 day old sprouts. We had great germination and nice transplant rates, nice growth too. Just the rainy July was the damper. We had a soaker hose under the plastic. Not that we needed it too much. Even the greenhouse was miserable this year. Produced, but not like usual. After what I've heard here, and read, I may not sucker next year. I'm sure I'll decide on a whim, thought the center ones will be tough to get to . Jill

-- Jill Schreiber (, August 26, 2000.

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