Every once in a while, instead of instilling calm and comfort, the garden promotes panic. Such is the case when I discovered that my heirloom Black Aztec sweet corn was starting to send out tassels.
The problem is not that it is tasseling, but rather that it is tasseling now – while the stalks are only 2 feet tall. What’s going on here?
Black Aztec sweet corn gets a jump on the season
I did a quick search online to see if I could find an answer. On several forums (should be fora, if we’re using proper Latin) I found many gardeners with similar concerns. The answers posted seemed to indicate that it was normal, or at least common. But why did this happen?
Weather – it appears that corn tends to tassel early if the plants are hit with a cold snap early on in development. As it so happens, we had a freak hail storm about a week after I planted out the corn. The plants were damaged – leaves shredded – but the invisible damage apparently came from temperature.
Tassels rising out of short corn stalks
The good news is that most of the answers on the forums indicated that the plants catch up and the results are relatively the same.
Opening tassels on an even shorter corn stalk
Let’s hope that’s true. We’ll report back our findings as the season progresses. If this is happening to you (or ever has) post your concerns, research here.