The Weird List Of Summer Special And Unusual Problems

By Jannie Vaught

This time of the gardening season always presents some very special and unusual problems and things that make me go huum?

Here is a few.

Tassel-ear corn, vine borers, no cucumbers and fire ants in the tomatoes.

Let’s tackle these with a fine clear mind of interest.

The weirdest on this list is tassel-ear corn. This seems to be very popular this year across the country, with all types of garden and farms. There will be a fully developed ear of corn coming out of the tassel top of the corn plant!?

It has silk but “NO husk”!

Just a lovely small ear of corn drooping from the tassel. I had this 2 years ago, in gem corn and it was very small and not kernel developed, as some folks are having now. Some patches are every other plant to only a few, to some having every plant with a tassel-ear. The big question why? Theis is written about in many sires as coming from mostly the succors or “tillers”, the side shoots off the main stem. And the male and female of tassel to silk getting a bit confused. And then there is the information they appear in water boggy areas to only the edges of the field. These unprotected ears are at the mercy of birds and pest and are often eaten with relish. It appears to not harm the crop and is a corn anomaly. Something to wonder about. This year seems to be the tassel-ear year and is present in commercial and heritage varieties. 2018 is the year of tassel-ear!

No cucumbers? or poor development.

There are many answers.

Poor weather, heat, and inconsistent watering, resulting in a cucumber with a misshaped end. And insects. Cutworms, soil grubs, leaf miners and spider mite are a few. Water consistently, not too wet but a moist consistent soil. Encourage pollinators to work in the garden for you, by planting some flowers, and watch for the insects and use 1 tablespoon dawn soap to 1-gallon water in sprayer or watering can, this will be done several times to get the jump on the bugs.

Always the big question fire ants.

This year they are in one part of a raised bed and for me, it is a no-go zone. Personally, the removal or eradication of fire ants remains a mystery. I can’t get them to go away, and I don’t or won’t use a harsh chemical in the garden.

Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.

As Summer is getting well under way and the garden is bursting with all the goodness it has to offer, we as gardeners just take some of the issues and file them away and keep on digging.

Happy Summer.

Out growing green and looking at weird corn with Jannie

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