Harvesting Fresh and Organic Corn! Storing Corn for Winter!

Sweet corn is a very easy food to grow at home and can be grown all year round. Moreover, sweet corn is also an ingredient that can be processed into many attractive dishes. There’s nothing better than being able to create your own delicious meals from the results of applying sweet corn growing techniques at home.

Sweet corn

Learn about sweet corn

Maize is one of the three families of maize, beans and squash that have been cultivated for thousands of years. Originating in North America, maize is believed to have first been domesticated in central Mexico, from where it spread to various peoples throughout North and South America. Today, maize is grown on an industrial scale, but there are also several varieties that are well suited to growing in the home garden.

Ornamental corn usually isn’t edible but it makes a great fall decoration.

You may not know this, but there are three main types of sweet corn: Standard Sweet Corn (SU), Supersweet (SH2), Sugar-Enhanced (SE). They all have similar characteristics but differ in sweetness, texture, and storage capacity. The kernels are white, yellow, or a mix of the two, although ornamental types can have multi-colored kernels with purple, blue, and red mixed in.

Growing Super Sweet Corn

Grow sweetcorn in a spot that receives plenty of sunshine, in soil that’s been enriched with a lot of well-rotted organic matter such as compost. Corn’s lofty habit and feathery tassels makes it an attractive plant in its own right.

Growing Sweet Corn from Seed

Corn loves the warmth and won’t tolerate frost. While the seeds may be sown directly outside once the soil has warmed up, the safest way to sow is into pots in the protection of a greenhouse, polytunnel or cold frame. That way you can begin sowing three to four weeks before your last frost date and enjoy a head start on outdoor-sown corn – a huge advantage in shorter growing seasons.

Sweetcorn hates the cold and is best started off in a greenhouse, polytunnel or cold frame

When to Plant Corn

Plan to put your sweet corn seeds in the ground about 2 weeks after your last frost date in the spring. Corn is very sensitive to frost, so you don’t want to plant it too early and risk losing your crop, but it also needs a long growing season, so don’t wait too long. The soil temperature should be at least 55°F before planting corn seeds and ideally closer to 60°F. Otherwise, seeds won’t germinate.

Where to Plant – Soil Preparation

The ideal soil for corn is well drained and fertile, with a pH of 6.0-6.8. As a general rule, plant early corn in light soil (sand or loam) and later corn in heavier soil (silt or clay), when there is an option. Light soils warm up faster than heavy soils, so seed germinates more readily. In hot midsummer conditions, heavier soils have the advantage of holding more moisture than lighter soils.

Though you see corn planted in long rows on farms, in a home garden, it’s better to plant it in a square or rectangle. This helps with successful pollination.

Sweet corn is best grown in squares, not long rows, so pick out a section in your garden where you can plant accordingly. It should be somewhere that gets full sun and is well-drained yet can hold adequate moisture. Sweetcorn is wind-pollinated, so instead of planting them in a long row, set your plants out in a block for the highest chance of success. If the corn isn’t well pollinated, it will still grow but will be missing many of the kernels from the cob.

Caring for Sweetcorn

Another important piece of successfully growing sweet corn is to keep up with maintenance throughout the growing season. Sweet corn is a heavy feeder and will need to be fertilized throughout the growing season unless you have very rich soil. You can fertilize with a balanced garden fertilizer every 3-4 weeks depending on what kind of fertilizer it is. Apply the fertilizer according to the instructions on the package, and always water thoroughly after fertilizing.

Sweetcorn is ready to pick when the silks turn dark brown

Remove any weeds that pop up within your sweetcorn by hand and continue weeding while you are still able to get between the plants. Sweetcorn is sturdy and shouldn’t need supporting. It will appreciate watering in very dry weather, particularly from late summer as the silks appear and the cobs begin to form.

How to Harvest Sweet Corn

Harvesting sweet corn at the right stage is key to flavorful, sweet ears instead of flavorless or overripe corn. The best way to tell your sweet corn is ready is to look at the silk tassels that stick out of each ear. When you first notice the silk appearing, plan to harvest about 20 days later. Ears are ready when the silk turns brown and looks dried-out. You can test for maturity by gently peeling back the husk to check kernel size.

Corn is ready to harvest

The temperature at which sweet corn is harvested and stored can have a dramatic effect on eating quality. After harvest, sweetness rapidly declines as the sugar in the kernel is converted to starch. This conversion is accelerated by high temperatures. Although super-sweet types retain sweetness much longer than other types, it is important to harvest all types of corn in the early morning or late evening when temperatures are cool, and to refrigerate it to maintain quality.

Preservation and joy of growing sweet corn

To store corn long term, the best method is to freeze it. Before freezing it, you’ll want to blanch the ears. This is a simple process of boiling it in water for several minutes (7-11 minutes, depending on size) before transfer quickly to an ice bath. Growing sweet corn can be a tricky task, you get to enjoy the freshest ears of corn possible! You can also branch out into other types of corn like ornamental varieties and even popcorn.

Sweet corn can be processed into many dishes

Thank you for visiting our website! We hope you found something of interest on our site. You May Also like Curious To See The Giant Chestnut Harvest

 

Video resource:Villageria

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