Corn lodging for Noobies

Sweet Tatorman's picture

No, that is not where you stay while tending your corn patch. Lodging is an agricultural term for a grain crop falling over or being blown over by wind. Corn is especially susceptible as it is tall and thus subject to much wind loading. If you grow corn, at some point you will go out and discover something like the photo below. Most typically there is not breakage of the stalk, the plant has just partially uprooted and laid down. Your first impulse likely will be to intervene in some way. Don't do it. In most cases doing nothing is best. Corn plants have an amazing ability to right themselves. The photo below was taken a couple of mornings ago. I will follow up in a week or so with another photo and you can see how it works. The stalks will have considerable curvature but the upper portion of the plant will have returned to vertical.

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I love that the advice is 'do nothing'. That is my kind of gardening, and now I am well prepared for this eventuality. Question - is the advice the same if the corn stalks are all the way grown with corn ears on?

Sweet Tatorman's picture

In general, the more advanced the state of development the less able the plant is to right itself. With a fully developed ear lying on the ground it probably will stay there which will subject the ear to possible rot from soil contact or spoilage from ground dwelling insects and rodents. In this case getting the ear off the ground would be helpful by means of a short forked stick or similar.

alice's picture

Good to know they can right themselves. Impressive skins corn ladies =D

Sweet Tatorman's picture

Taken today.

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Sweet Tatorman's picture

Here is a closeup of stalk curvature for righting plant. Note both in foreground and background.

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I love that it has a name - corn lodging. Will be adding that to the lexicon. That corn has an impressive compulsion for verticality..