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Old September 3, 2019   #1
GoDawgs
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Default The Popcorn Experiment

Every year I have a few "toys" I play with in the garden. This year it was aspabroc (generic broccolini) grown for a friend, Small Sugar Pumpkin, Thai Red Roselle and Japanese White Hulless Popcorn. The first three grew pretty good but the popcorn lagged.

I grew it in a 4 x 18' bed, something I've done successfully with corn before. The problem came when it didn't all germinate at once. There were a lot of skips and by the time I reseeded them and they finally came up, I had a feeling there was gong to be a pollination problem at the other end of the line.



But the stalks eventually grew up and I was amazed at seeing up to five ears per stalk with pretty red silks!



Eventually about two thirds of the tassels were starting to release pollen and the others weren't ready yet. Houston, we have a problem. Later when the stalks and ears had dried down I pulled a few sample ears. With the shucks still on it felt like there was hardly anything in there but they are just small, about 5" or so long and maybe 1" wide. And it was evident there was a pollination problem.



I had about given up on it and put it all aside until last week when I went through the bed to pull whatever ears there were. The bugs had gotten to a lot and a few had remains of smut but I got about fifteen ears that were mostly filled out. Good enough for a test popping. I shelled off the good kernels, got about 2 cups of kernels and last night we gave it a test pop.

Well, whaddaya know... GOOD STUFF!



It was really tender with good flavor and, as advertised, no hulls to dig out of your teeth! I'm definitely going to do this again next spring and this time I will overseed so there are no skips to interfere with good pollination. And I will probably pick the ears off earlier and dry them down in the shed away from the bugs. It turned out to be a good experiment after all!
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Old September 4, 2019   #2
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This made me smile!
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Old September 4, 2019   #3
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Used to go to the thrift/resale shops and get some curtain shears, then make a "bag" around the ears of corn that I was drying. The edges were good to hang it up with so air circulated well around the ears. I used staples to make the bags around each ear or three.
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Old September 4, 2019   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoDawgs View Post
Every year I have a few "toys" I play with in the garden. This year it was aspabroc (generic broccolini) grown for a friend, Small Sugar Pumpkin, Thai Red Roselle and Japanese White Hulless Popcorn. The first three grew pretty good but the popcorn lagged.

I grew it in a 4 x 18' bed, something I've done successfully with corn before. The problem came when it didn't all germinate at once. There were a lot of skips and by the time I reseeded them and they finally came up, I had a feeling there was gong to be a pollination problem at the other end of the line.



But the stalks eventually grew up and I was amazed at seeing up to five ears per stalk with pretty red silks!



Eventually about two thirds of the tassels were starting to release pollen and the others weren't ready yet. Houston, we have a problem. Later when the stalks and ears had dried down I pulled a few sample ears. With the shucks still on it felt like there was hardly anything in there but they are just small, about 5" or so long and maybe 1" wide. And it was evident there was a pollination problem.



I had about given up on it and put it all aside until last week when I went through the bed to pull whatever ears there were. The bugs had gotten to a lot and a few had remains of smut but I got about fifteen ears that were mostly filled out. Good enough for a test popping. I shelled off the good kernels, got about 2 cups of kernels and last night we gave it a test pop.

Well, whaddaya know... GOOD STUFF!



It was really tender with good flavor and, as advertised, no hulls to dig out of your teeth! I'm definitely going to do this again next spring and this time I will overseed so there are no skips to interfere with good pollination. And I will probably pick the ears off earlier and dry them down in the shed away from the bugs. It turned out to be a good experiment after all!


What are you going to use for seed next year? From what I've read, to keep a variety stable, it takes about 100 plants to do so. I cannot verify if what I've read is true, however.
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Old September 4, 2019   #5
GoDawgs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by imp View Post
Used to go to the thrift/resale shops and get some curtain shears, then make a "bag" around the ears of corn that I was drying. The edges were good to hang it up with so air circulated well around the ears. I used staples to make the bags around each ear or three.
Are you saying you shucked the ears and then dried them in bags? Or put the ears still with the shucks on in the bags?
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Old September 4, 2019   #6
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What are you going to use for seed next year? From what I've read, to keep a variety stable, it takes about 100 plants to do so. I cannot verify if what I've read is true, however.
I still have half of the seed packet left plus an extra whole pack. I don't know why I bought two packs! They're in the freezer right now just to make sure they're good for more than a year. But I'm still going to plant some of the seed I grew just to compare.
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Old September 4, 2019   #7
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How fun!
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Old September 5, 2019   #8
imp
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Are you saying you shucked the ears and then dried them in bags? Or put the ears still with the shucks on in the bags?

Whole ear shucks included. Then, when dry, shuck and use the corn.
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