Blackwelder column: Fungus attacking impatiens

Published 12:00 am Friday, July 20, 2012

SALISBURY — This week brought Rowan County lower temperatures and much needed rainfall, but it also meant some major problems for home gardeners. Below are samples of questions that may be of interest.
Q: My sweet corn crop looks very good, but there are no kernels in the middle of the cob. I didn’t have this problem last year. What can I do to prevent this?
A: Unfilled kernels are probably due to incomplete pollination. Sweet corn should not be planted in one long row but a couple of shorter rows.(I asked about this and the grower had a long single row of sweet corn.) Corn is wind pollinated so a single row of corn only has enough pollen for adjacent stalks when the wind blows in one of two directions. Corn in plantings of several short rows can have ample pollen spread when the wind blows in any direction. Kernels can also be missing if the corn has matured during a period of drought.
Q: Our impatiens are dying and we have always had very good luck with them. What is the cause and what can we do to prevent this?
A: There are two very serious fungal diseases in impatiens this summer. 
Read Darrell Blackwelder’s full answer on