How to Pollinate Sweet Corn by Hand

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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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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
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