This post is about corn pollination. If you’re here for corny jokes, you’re good. If you’re here for a weird fetish, you’re in the wrong place.
The above was added after I found out that this blog post is the number one google hit for several search terms that cover some stuff that I didn’t even know was a thing. People are weird.
Let’s Talk About (Corn) Sex
Written by: Salt N Pepa
Messed up by: DairyCarrie
(Punch it, Hurb
Yo, I don’t think we should talk about this
Come on, why not?
People might misunderstand what we’re tryin’ to say, you know?
No, but that’s a part of life)
Let’s talk about sex, baby
Let’s talk about corn and me
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the tasty things that may be
Let’s talk about sex
Let’s talk about corn
Let’s talk about silk
Let’s talk about pollen
Let’s talk about corn sex now to the people at home or in the crowd
The corn keeps coming up anyhow
Don’t decoy, avoid, or make void the topic
Cuz that ain’t gonna stop it
Now we talk about corn sex on the radio and video shows
Many don’t know it’s not anything goes
Let’s tell it how it is, and how it could be
How it was, and of course, how it should be
Those who think corn is tasty have a choice
Shuck it and boil, roast it, or cream it and can it
Will the corn ever stop, Pep? I doubt it
All right then, come on, Shuck it
Hot to trot, make anyones eyes pop
Super sweet is what we want, butter and parmesan or salt and pepper
Fellas drool like fools, but then again they’re only human
The corn was a hit because it’s kernels was boomin’
Gold, pearls, peaches and cream, super sweet
Sweet corn for lunch, dinner, it’s common
On the dinner plates of heads of state, men of taste
Lawyers, doctors, no one was passing up an ear or three
Delicious and sweet in season, the Prez says sweet corn is the best
And believe me, you, it’s as good as true
There ain’t a man alive that corn couldn’t get next to
Put some corn in a bag, from the farmer’s market
Can’t get too mad and sad and feelin’ bad
Thinkin’ about all the sweet corn that you never had
While you had braces, your teeth were crooked’ got ’em off
That first sweet corn was dope
Let’s talk about sex, baby (sing it)
Let’s talk about you and corn (sing it, sing it)
Let’s talk about all the good things
And the bad things that may be
Let’s talk about silk (come on)
Let’s talk about pollen (do it)
Let’s talk about tassels (uh-huh)
Let’s talk about sex
Ladies, all the ladies, louder now, help me out
Come on, all the ladies – let’s talk about sex, all right
(Yo, Pep, I don’t think they’re gonna play this on the radio
And why not? Everybody loves corn
I mean, everybody should be makin’ corn
Come on, how many guys you know make corn?)
Ok folks, you now have what Hubs has been referring to as exhibit A and B in my commitment hearing. Whatever, he’s just jealous. It’s not like I didn’t include him, he was holding the camera!
Every year we plant some sweet corn. Delicious, super sweet, nom nom nom, hot off the grill, covered in butter, salt and pepper and sprinkled with Parmesan cheese, sweet corn. Note, the corn we enjoy on the cob is not the same as the corn you see fields of everywhere. That corn is for our cows, it is not sweet and you will be horribly disappointed if you pick some of that and try to eat it. I say this because I have seen it happen, I would have stopped the folks picking our field corn but even if it was sweet corn, it’s not cool to steal corn from people’s fields. I hope they set a plate for karma at dinner that night!
We plant the sweet corn on the ends of our field corn rows. We also plant a few different plantings so that we have corn ready at a few different times instead of all at once. This year we planted “Semenis Performance Series” sweet corn. I was fortunate enough to be sent a bag of seed to try out from Monsanto. (Cue the anti-gmo crowd calling me a shill) This seed is a gmo sweet corn seed, it is “RoundUp Ready” so I can use glyphosate to control weeds in the field. It’s also “Bt” meaning that it is resistant to the worms that like to eat sweet corn as much as I do. With the super wet conditions this year the weeds and bugs are crazy bad, I’m glad I have tools to defend my crops built in. I know there is a lot of controversy out there about GMO seed, I have done quite a bit of looking into GMO seeds and I haven’t found anything that leads me to not want to use them. This isn’t a post about GMOs anyways, this is a post about corn sex. So let’s get to it!
So corn sex, in more normal circles is called pollination. But if I titled this post “How does corn pollinate” you probably wouldn’t be here reading this. On that note if you got here because you were googling corn sex and you weren’t looking for information on corn pollination, you need help.
The process of corn pollination is pretty similar to the fertilization process of any other plant, if you squint real hard it’s pretty similar to baby making too. One thing that is different on a corn plant from a tulip however, is that the male and female parts of the plant aren’t located right next to each other. Let’s look at the parts of the corn plant involved…
The tassel forms at the top of the corn plant at the start of pollination. It’s the stage where the corn’s voice starts to crack and it get’s hair in strange places. If the corn had thoughts they would probably be be pretty impure at this point.
The start of the ear of corn is the silk. The silk appears just after the tassel starts to shed pollen. Each one of the silk strings connects to what will eventually be a kernel of corn on the ear. The silk’s job is to collect the pollen that the tassel releases.
So those are the three main parts of the pollination process. Let’s talk about the mechanics of pollination.
The tassel shows up first, it opens and starts to release the pollen before the silk has appeared. Classic male, ready to go before the female is even at the party. The silk appears and it starts to collect the pollen. The silk is covered with tiny sticky hairs made to grab the pollen. Even though pollen can be carried by the wind, it generally only travels 20 to 50 feet. Most of the silks will collect pollen from other plants rather than the pollen from her own plants tassel. Pollen is only viable for a short time, like less than 24 hours but as soon as the pollen hits the silk, bam, that one corn kernel is pregnant.
After the pollen hits the silk and there is a corn bun in the oven the kernel will start to grow. In about 2-3 weeks the ear of corn will fill up with all the pregnant kernels and the formerly sexy silks that brought all the boys to the yard will dry up and become brown. That’s when the corn is ready for us to eat!
So there you have it, the basics of corn
sex pollination. The more you know, people, the more you know!!! If you need me at night in the near future you will find me out in the sweet corn patch defending my corn from the masked marauders trying to pillage and otherwise violate my corn.
If you would like a more scientific version of what I said here, you can check out this article. I don’t know why you wouldn’t like my post but, I’m all for giving you your options.