This section is from the book "The Standard Cyclopedia Of Horticulture Vol2", by L. H. Bailey. See also: Western Garden Book: More than 8,000 Plants - The Right Plants for Your Climate - Tips from Western Garden Experts.
Some of the desirable varieties for the garden, the market, and for canning are fisted below. These varieties are named to show the range of variation and to indicate the leading groups or types, rather than to recommend these particular kinds. New varieties are continually supplanting the old.
Extra-early: Golden Bantam, an extra-early sort, has recently become very popular, on account of its productiveness, good flavor, and desirable size for table use, and because the kernels separate very easily from the cob; many plant it in succession so as to cover the entire season with this variety alone. Peep o'Day and Minnesota are other food extra-early varieties. Second-early: Early Crosby; Early Evergreen. Medium or standard season: Hickox Improved, Stowell Evergreen, White Evergreen. Late: Black Mexican, Country Gentleman.
Extra-early: Cory (red cob), White Cob Cory, and Extra-Early Adams, which, though not a sweet corn, is largely grown for early use. This last-named variety is recommended in the South because of its comparative freedom from the attacks of the ear worm. Second-early: Shaker, Crosby, Early Champion; Early Adams also is extensively grown for market, though not a true sugar corn. Midseason and Late: Stowell Evergreen, Country Gentleman, Late Mammoth, Egyptian.
Plate XXVIII. Stowell Evergreen sweet corn.
Stowell Evergreen is the standard variety for canning factories everywhere. Country Gentleman is also grown to a considerable extent for fancy canned corn. .Other varieties that are used for canning include Early Evergreen, White Evergreen, Egyptian, Potter Excelsior, and Hickox Improved.
Diseases and pests of sweet corn.
The most widespread and destructive disease of corn in the United States is the smut produced by the parasitic smut-fungus, Ustilago Zeae. The sorghum-head smut, Ustilago Reiliana, also attacks maize. Smut causes most injury when it attacks the ears. The grains are transformed into a mass of dark-colored smut spores, and become exceedingly swollen and distorted out of all semblance to their normal outlines. Infection may take place at any growing point of the plant from early till late in the season, hence treatment of seed corn by fungicides is of no value as a remedy for corn smut. The destruction of smutted parts of the plants, and taking especial care that the smut does not become mixed with manure which is used for the corn crop, are measures which may be expected to lessen the prevalence of the disease. No remedy is known.
Another disease of sweet corn in the United States is the bacterial blight caused by Pseudomonas Stewartii. It has been found in New York, New Jersey, and Michigan, but thus far has been seriously destructive only on Long Island on early dwarf varieties of sweet corn. It is characterized by wilting and complete drying of the whole plant, as if affected by drought, except that the leaves do not roll up. The fibro-vascular bundles become distinctly yellow, and are very noticeable when the stalk is cut open. The disease attacks the plant at any period of growth, but is most destructive about the time the silk appears. No remedy is known.
These two diseases are of the most economic importance in the United States. Two others of somewhat minor importance which deserve mention are rust and leaf blight. The leaf-blight fungus causes round, brownish, dead spots on the foliage. The maize rust, Puccinia sorghi, is found principally where rainfall is abundant. It is rather common throughout the corn-belt. The fungus is similar in nature to that which causes the rust of small grains. It cannot be controlled economically.
Over 200 species of insects are known to be injurious to corn, either to some part of the growing plant or to the stored product. The corn-ear worm, known South as the cotton-boll worm, is especially injurious to sweet corn. It burrows in tender green corn, ruining the ear for either canning or market purposes. It is known to do serious damage as far north as western New York and central Iowa. Recent experiments in dust-spraying promise well. Spraying is done weekly, beginning when silks appear, using equal weight powdered lead arsenate and lime. Shallow fall plowing to kill pupae is a partial remedy. Wire-worms, northern corn-root worms, white grubs, and certain other grass insects attack corn plants. One of the best preventive measures is to plan the rotation so that corn does not immediately follow any cereal or grass crop.