[Market-farming] Sweet Corn Transplants (was Cloddy Soil)

Bill Shoemaker wshoemak at inil.com
Fri May 30 10:57:18 EDT 2003


    I'm amazed at how well the float system of transplant production has
turned out. I'm curious about your experience with sweet corn transplants.
How old are the transplants when they are ready for transplanting? And how
old can you let them get in the tray before they become difficult to
transplant well? Have you tried any of the more weak seed types, like Mirai?
Do you use a mechanical transplanter or do you plant by hand? They make
tremendous corn for eating but are difficult to establish by seeding in the
field, and are pretty expensive seed to buy.

Bill Shoemaker
Sr Research Specialist, Food Crops
Univ of Illinois - St Charles Hort Research Center

I wouldn't dissuade anyone from going fishing, but in
case anyone desperately wants sweet corn, and is
plagued by rain, let me tell you about an easy way to do
transplants. Use the 200 cell styrofoam Speedling flats,
one corn kernel in each cell with your usual seed
compost, then float the flats in a tank of water until you
can transplant. You don't have to worry about keeping
the flats watered, they just suck up what they need. I've
heard it may be better to just stack the watered flats on
dry land for the first 24 hours, then float them. But it
works OK if you float them right away. It buys a bit of
time, and is OK for smallish plantings.
Pam Dawling, Twin Oaks Community, Louisa,
Virginia, zone 6b.

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