The Garden Helper

Helping Gardeners Grow Their Dreams since 1997.

No-dash-here, you've found The Real Garden Helper! Gardening on the Web since 1997

keeping out worms from corn

Gardening Reference » Gardening in 2004
by pagarden on July 14, 2004 07:20 AM
i read on one of the posts to put a little mineral oil on the silks to keep out bugs. somewhere in my mind is floating around an idea to put the oil on them and then put something like a ribbon or rubber band around the silks to keep out even more bugs. i must have read it somewhere else. but i just noticed my first silks today and desperatly want to keep it away from the buggies- so is that what i do- just put a little mineral oil on them? just once? or after each rain or what? and do i have to extra wash it when it's ready to eat? and how long does it take from first silks to eatin? have never grown corn before......
by Phil and Laura on July 14, 2004 02:48 PM
Well I suppose opinions Here will differ with your location , Myself, being surrounded with corn fields, I apply a few drops at first, while the silks are first developed, then a few more as soon as the esr starts to develop. I haven't re-applied after rain, and to be honest, I never tasted the mineral oil, but then I always wash it well.Your corn will be ready to eat when the silks have turned a nice tannish, brown, at this time,pick an ear, peel back the schuck and poke a kernel with your finger nail, it should "pop" easily! [thumb]
by pagarden on July 14, 2004 07:35 PM
thanks. [wayey] so do i need to tie up the silks in addition to the oil? do you? what is it about the oil that keeps out the bugs? [thinker]
by Pineapple_Raye on July 15, 2004 03:32 AM
The choice to use mineral oil is a personal one. However, I believe a person should have all the information before a desision is made. Below is in part a copy from NIOSH/OSHA. Under Health Hazard Information on the subject of mineral oil.
2. Effects on Humans: Exposure to mineral oil mists can cause eye, skin, and upper respiratory tract irritation as well as central nervous system effects in humans. In addition, certain mineral oils are carcinogenic in humans [Hathaway et al. 1991]. Exposure to mineral oil mists can result in localized irritation of the mucous membranes, and if exposures are excessive, headaches, dizziness, and drowsiness may result [Genium 1985]. Liquid petrolatum is essentially innocuous when it comes in contact with human corneas [Grant 1986]. A case of lipoid pneumonia was reported in a worker following a high-exposure to mineral oil with inadequate ventilation [ACGIH 1991; Hathaway et al. 1991]. Many studies confirm that poorly refined mineral oil can induce skin and scrotal cancers after prolonged, repeated, and heavy direct contact with the skin [ACGIH 1991]. In addition, repeated dermal exposures may result in dermatitis [Genium 1985]. Aspiration of mineral oil mists into the lungs can result in blue coloration of the skin, rapid heartbeat, fever, and chemical pneumonia possibly followed by a secondary infection [Genium 1985; Sittig 1991]. Ingestion will cause a burning sensation in the mouth, throat, and stomach followed by vomiting, diarrhea, and belching [Sittig 1991]. IARC has concluded that there is sufficient evidence for the carcinogenicity of untreated and mildly treated oils in humans, but inadequate evidence for highly-refined oils [IARC 1987].
You may review the entire subjust here: NIOSH/ OSHA

As I said the choice to use mineral oil is a personal one. An option to useing it is to use women's nylon booties. Slip it over the corn and tie it gently to the base of the ear.
by Phil and Laura on July 16, 2004 05:02 PM
The above information probably is valid, It seems to me that the minute quanity used should pose no risk. And it sure beats any type of insecticide that will keep them off. In light of this info, I will for one wash my corn a little more thourghly, Just a remedie that I have used for 30+ years.and I assume many others have also. I would not spray the oil personally, so contact with the eyes would not be a factor, and it takes only about 2-3 drops on the silk, so accute exposure; also would not be a factor, The Booties, seems like an Excellent Idea, but then again, maybe only in Florida, cause to do it here, you would have to have grown a minature corn, Or Have a WOMAN with BIG FEET [Big Grin]

Active Garden Forum

Search The Garden Helper: