Blog

Fertilizer time. (April 24th)

I make my own blend for the little acre that my nursery occupies. I try to keep pH, macronutrients, and micronutrients as close to ideal as I can. After applying 3 tons of lime to the acre in 2019, my pH has been at a perfect 6.5 – 6.9. Local soils can sometimes dip into…More

Elotero de Sinaloa, from western Mexico.

Last year I grew a small strip trial plot of this breed from western Mexico, and it performed surprisingly well in Tennessee. It’s a specialty roasting ear type, related to Elotes Occidentales and Bofo, both derived in part from Harinoso de Ocho. Elote / roasting ear varieties from Mexico tend to be highly colored (blue,…More

Zapalote Grande, a traditional breed from southern Mexico.

Here is yet another southern Mexican corn, though not as old as its relative, Zapalote Chico. Z. Grande is native to Chiapas state and grows in wetter areas. I suspect that it is being pushed out both on the earlier and on the later sides by more specialized niche corns. As such, Z. Grande is…More

Zapalote Chico, an ancient early corn from southern Mexico.

Here is another ancient corn from Mexico, this time from the southern part of the country (Oaxaca and Chiapas). Zapalote Chico is a member of the same large group that includes Tuxpe├▒o, albeit a much smaller relative. It is found predominantly in dry areas with short rainy seasons, being able to mature in 85 –…More

Harinoso de Ocho, a nearly extinct ancient corn from western Mexico.

This breed has quite a history to it. It is one of the ancestors of the narrow-eared corns of Western Mexico and (likely) of US Southwestern types such as Papago Flour. I suspect that Harinoso de Ocho was also involved in the origin of Northern Flint-Flour, and it clusters closely in phenotype with Southeastern US…More

An important trait: staygreen.

No, that’s not disease that you’re seeing on the Z. Chico (left). Some corns just die down much faster than others post blooming. Breeding plants that remain green for longer seems to help with yield (more photosynthesizing) and stalk quality (less stalk rot).More

Disease Photos (2021)

As expected, I had a bunch of diseases this year. Two were new. Southern Rust was present this year too, but I gotta find a quality photo of it. One can see why growing corn here is often so difficult. Finding a variety or population that resists EVERYTHING is quite rare.More

Adapting Tropical Corn To Long Days

Hey! It’s been a while, but I’m back from the field – with lots of photos. In this post, I’m gonna show more examples of what happens when one moves around a few alleles from temperate corn into tropical corn. The goal is to eliminate the sensitive genetics, while keeping everything else. It’s a whole…More

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