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de-tassling corn

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
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by Sharmalee on July 31, 2004 06:04 PM
As a teenager, I had a summer job de-tassling corn in the fields of Indiana. Now, in Florida we are growing some corn in our home garden. I cannot remember why the corn in Indiana needed to be de-tassled. Does it make it sweeter?
by gardenmom32210 on July 31, 2004 09:53 PM
Hi Neighbor [wayey] Welcome to the forum.
Not quite sure what you mean by de-tassling,but you've come to the right spot for answers.
I'm sure someone will be along soon that can answer your question.

I just wanted to stop and say HI!

Karen [grin]
by Pineapple_Raye on July 31, 2004 11:36 PM
I believe I can offer some insight to this question. The tassels are pulled from the female corn to prevent self-pollination. I would just about bet that when you pulled the tassels there were rows of corn that you did not pull the tassels from. Those rows would have been the male corn. The female plant is then pollinated via the wind blowing the male pollen. Today some farms use the downward air movement of a helicopter to blowing the male pollen around.

It has all to do with maintaining a certain quality/ taste factor. I don't know if this corn is now going to be a "seed" corn or it is eaten. However, logic says it would be a seed corn to be sold to farmers/ home gardeners.

Now there maybe more to this and perhaps someone else can offer more advice. I only know about this from a conversation at a feed store some time back. I was quite set back as I had never heard of removing the tassles.

As far as your home garden goes...don't remove the tassels.
by Phil and Laura on August 01, 2004 02:11 AM
All in the interest of Hybrid Corn...
The producer wants to cross-breed two varieties of corn to create seed that has some of the best qualities of each variety. corn left to grow on its own will pollinate itself. That's because each plant has a tassel, which contains the male flower that disperses pollen, and the thread-like silks, which contain the female flowers that "catch" the pollen and produce a corn kernel.

The seed corn producer doesn't want the plants to self-pollinate; he wants to ensure cross-pollination between the two varieties of corn in his field. He hires detasselers because the only way for a detasseled plant to be pollinated is by another corn plant that has a tassel.
designated male plants of one variety and female corn plants of a second variety are usually arranged in a pattern throughout the seed production field of about six female rows (detasseled) and two male rows (pollen providers).
Timing is important. Detassel too early and there is a risk of decreasing the yield of seed corn. But wait too long and the corn plant will have started to pollinate itself, resulting in the corn's natural seed instead of the hybrid seed.
Now unless you wanna try to create your own hybrid...As Raye Stated...Don't remove your homegrown corns tassels

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