I am just starting out with a "real" garden this year. Originally I was not going to grow corn based on the advice of others. Such as, corn is: too thirsty, too nutrient happy, to cheap at the store to justify the space, etc. Then I realized that I actually love corn (dad's from Nebraska) and why wouldn't I grow a bit. Now for the questions. In order of importance, of course.
Is all corn hybridized? Is all corn GMO now??? Because I would really like a corn that I could save seeds from for the next year. Is this possible? I haven't seen ANYTHING saying it is!
Can someone recommend a few varieties of corn to me? I like sweet, but still corn-tasting corn. Yellow but sweet, I guess? Never had to put that into words before...
What is the best way to store corn on the cob? Or do you have to can it pretty quick?
Finally, I got a pack of corn seeds from my neighbor, It is Jubilee Sweet Corn from Burgess Seed Co. If anyone knows anything about this corn that would be neat to hear. It says "hybrid".
Baker Creek tests their corn seed for GMO contamination, and they don't carry hybrids, so you can be confident that any seed you buy from them is safe.
I'm not all that familiar with sweet corn varieties, so I'm afraid I can't help you there. Most of the corn I grow is either flint or flour corn. I will say that in the baby-corn stage, both the flint and flour corns I grow taste like sweet corn concentrate. Completely different from the canned baby corn you find at the store.
You can save seed from any corn even hybrid. In fact if you wanted to breed your own corn variety starting with a hybrid is fine. It might be a little funny the second year, but the kinks should work out eventually.
As other posters mentioned, plenty of old fashioned non-gmo heirloom corn is available still.
Generally no one will intentionally sell you as a home gardener GMO corn seed hybrid if sold for planting. Though low level contamination is possible. However if you have chickens and you feed them corn even cracked corn the ocassional uncracked kernel may germinate. Your average conventional feed corn is now GMO.
Western Montana gardener and botanist in zone 6a according to 2012 zone update.
Gardening on lakebed sediments with 7 inch silty clay loam topsoil, 7 inch clay accumulation layer underneath, have added sand in places.
I have never grown corn, but something I have seen repeatedly is the advice that if you want to save seed from the corn you grow, you have to plant many plants to avoid inbreeding with loss of productivity. How many is "many?" I don't know. I've see people say 50, I've seen them say 200.
Sweetcorn is the only hybrid that I plant. I haven’t found a standard variety that is as sweet. It stays sweet a week longer than the standards that I’ve tried. It’s very hardy. People used to say you have to save seed from a hundred ears of a standard variety to keep it from becoming inbreed. Hard to do in a home garden. I’m not sure if it really takes a hundred? I’ve been thinking of saving hybrid seed.
From what I've read, both, Burpee & Ferry Morse (the 2 most popular brands for garden center shelves) boast that they do not use/sell genetically modified seeds. Of course, hybrids are a different matter; but hybridization is also a natural phenomenon that aids in species adaptation & evolution, so shouldn't be feared.
TBH, I shopped around for GMO seeds last year, just out of curiosity for knowledge, and I could not find any seed suppliers of annual or perennial crops that openly advertised available GMO products for home farmers/gardeners. The few I did find were mainly cotton, plus some grains grown for animal feed; and even they were only available to large scale farmers who are already contracted with the seed producer; or a company affiliated with the seed producer. It also seems that GMO seed prices are much higher than non-GMO, and there are more federal regulations for growers;which is why they're more likely to be used in large scaled operations that have specific insurance policies & compliance monitoring systems, instead of being sold at the local garden centers & nurseries.
This was just the results of my research, which I would definitely not consider to be any type of formal, thorough, or official. I basically just wanted to learn enough to keep me from being paranoid about the genotype whenever I bought seeds from a new company, or got some in trades.
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