The sweetest corn is that which is chosen and instantly cooked. Therefore, if you want the best-tasting corn, consider raising it yourself.
Traditionally, corn contains demanded warmth, long summer days and a lot more space than many other vegetables, which makes it a bad selection for cooler climates or people with short growing seasons and tiny gardens. Fortunately, there are new hybrids bred for cooler summers, short summers and even tropical island living. As for the distance required, that’s still needed, however with planning you can create your own “cornfield” a highlight on your own garden. You may even find some new types that can manage being grown in a container.
As soon as you’ve decided to have a cornfield, then you get to pick on how impatient you are for the first ear. (Maturity dates are just more than 50 days to around 100 days.) You’ll also want to choose if you’re going traditional with white, yellow or bicolor kernels or branching into green, red, black or blue corn. And then there’s the question of just how much sweetness you want, since there are now quite sweet varieties available to home growers. To guarantee a long harvest or test out numerous types, plant successively or select early-, mid- and – late-season varieties.
For something different, develop your own popcorn. It’s slow to older but often boasts colorful kernels. Plus, you can enjoy your harvest well into winter.
Notice: Corn can easily cross-pollinate, so if you want a particular selection, plant it individually, at least 100 feet away and not downwind from other corn types, or select varieties that mature at various times.
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When to plant: Begin planting about two weeks after your last frost date, when soil temperatures have reached at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit (13 degrees Celsius); in hot desert regions, plant early enough to harvest from early summer.
Days to maturity: 53 to more than 100
moderate requirement: Full sun at least eight hours per day
Water requirement: Regular
Bodacious, Country Gentleman, Golden Bantam, How Sweet It Is, Honey and Cream, Illini X-tra-Sweet SH2, Indian Summer SH2, Kandy Korn, King Kool, Luscious, Miracle, Northern Xtra Sweet, Peaches and Cream, Silver Queen, Trinity, WhiteoutShort-season: Earlivee, Early Sunglow, Fleet, PolarVeeIsland: Hawaiian Supersweet #9, Hawaiian Supersweet #10, H68Popcorn: Bear Paw, Smoke Signals, Strawberry, Tom Thumb, White CloudContainer: Blue Jade, On Deck
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Planting and maintenance: Choose a well-drained website in sunlight. Mix compost or manure into the soil 2 to three weeks before planting. Set up any irrigation furrows or drip systems before planting too.
To maximize pollination, plant corn in a block containing at least four rows of corn which are 3 feet apart (the most productive method) or in a collection of hills ( less productive but easier to do). Water the soil thoroughly before planting.
If you’re planting in a block, then sow seeds 1 to 2 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart. When seedlings reach 6 inches, then thin them to 2 1 1/2 feet aside.
To plant in hills, mound up the soil a few inches high and 3 feet apart. Sow five to six seeds per hill, 1 to 2 inches deep, then thin to three plants per hill.
For best container effects, plant in four or three 20-inch containers. Make three holes per container, sowing two seeds in each hole. Thin to one plant per hole once seeds have germinated and reached about 1/2 foot tall.
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Keep the soil moist but not soggy water deeply once the silks form. Feed the soil when plants reach 1 to 2 1 1/2 feet tall and if they are 2 to 2 1/2 feet tall.
Weed carefully around the roots but don’t bother pulling the suckers, as they will not impact growth.
Numerous insects may damage corn, such as aphids, flea beetles and moths. Good gardening practices can help alleviate some of these problems. Covering the ears with panty hose can protect them from some harm, and applying a few drops of mineral oil to the tip of each ear after the silks appear can stop corn earworms. Corn may also be subject to damping off.
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Harvest: around three months after the silks appear, the corn should be prepared to harvest. Once the silks are brown, sliced the outer husk in a ear or 2 and pinch a kernel; when the juice which squirts out is simmer, the corn is ripe. For the best results, crop when the water from the cooking kettle is boiling, though some newer and sweeter varieties will maintain their glucose more. If you harvest ancient, store the corn unhusked from the refrigerator.
For baby corn, crop shortly after the silks appear.
For popcorn, wait until the silks and husks are completely dry; rub or cut off the kernels and store them in a dry location.