How to Pollinate Sweet Corn by Hand


When you are growing sweet corn in your garden, you will want to pollinate it as best as you can so the growth of the corn ear begins. In a normal corn field, plants are spaced out enough that the pollen on the tassels will shake off and land on the silk of the corn ears. In a confined area of a garden you will not always get proper self-pollination, so it is best to do it yourself.

  • Break off one well-developed tassel on the top of a sweet corn plant. The tassel is an approximately 6-inch straw attached to the top of the corn stalk. It will have little seed pod balls on it. About eight to 12 tassels are on top of each stalk.

  • Wait for the silk to come out on the corn ears. The silk will begin to appear when the corn stalk is 3 feet tall. Silk looks like smooth strings protruding from the top of the corn ear.

  • Rub the tassel you broke off on the silk of every ear of corn. Drop the tassel on the ground once you are done.

  • Repeat steps 1 through 3 every week until the sweet corn is mature.

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