Experienced Corn Growers

Discussion in 'Gardening & Plant Propagation' started by Oxankle, Jun 4, 2006.

  1. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    I planted corn this year for the first time in years. A variety called Kandy Corn.

    I know nothing about corn. Most farmers where I grew up did not even plant field corn then--now I'm told the area is wall to wall corn.

    What I would like to know is about how long is it from the time the corn tassells and the ears break out silk until the corn will be ready to pick? I pulled an ear today, about day 4 or 5 from tasselling, and the grain is still very immature.
    Ox
     
  2. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I've always just picked an ear or two a day when I knew it was close. Once you have a few really nice ears then you can expect that you better pick the "full" ears within a week or so.
     

  3. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    Around here we know it's time to pick sweet corn when the raccoons go in and taste every one. Try to do it the day before. Sunflowers are ready the day before the bluejays eat them all.
     
  4. wilderness1989

    wilderness1989 Well-Known Member

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    :cool: I love it and you are exactly right!!!! :cowboy:
     
  5. Thoughthound

    Thoughthound Well-Known Member

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    Generally 3 weeks after the silks appear.

    There is a window of about 1 week when the kernals are in the milk stage--that's when it is mature enough, and the sugar is high enough.

    Peel back husks (while still on the stalk--no need to pick) and jam a thumbnail into a kernal.

    It should squirt an opaque juice.

    For the best corn, get it cooled or cooked quickly.

    Corn wants to go to the starch stage (it's goal is to create seeds for babies and it doesn't care about your wants and desires).

    So when you pick corn, the cob will recognize that it's life is nearly over and will immediately begin converting sugar to starch to hurry those kernals into viable seed.

    Heat assists that conversion. The old fashioned corn (called "normal sugary" or abbreviated "su") is particularly adept at converting quickly.

    Get your sweet corn cooled to 40 degrees or cooked asap. In the fridge, it will retain quality for two to three days and is still edible for about a week.
     
  6. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can spot the ready ears when the silks start to dry and turn a dark brown. Check it every day when it's about ready with the thumb nail method.
     
  7. Lynne

    Lynne Well-Known Member

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    Was wondering when someone would mention that :) . You can also feel the kernels throught the husk to tell if it full. Wrap your hand around the middle of the ear and rub your thumb over the husk - you can feel the bumps. I don't like opening the husk and leaving the ear on the stalk, seems that the black bugs get into it quicker. Years ago on the old forum someone mentioned putting a couple of drops mineral oil in the top when the silk starts, to deter worms and beetles, it works. Of course this idea is for smaller patches of corn, not acres; works with indian corn too.
     
  8. Oxankle

    Oxankle Well-Known Member

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    LOL:

    "When the coons sample every one"

    That is my sole experience with corn. A few years back when I first moved here I planted two rows. Went out one morning thinking I would find some good corn and every stalk was bent over. Found that coons had destroyed, chewed on, every last ear. I never planted it again until this year, buying corn from a market gardener in town.

    The price has gotten so high (twenty-five to thirty cents per ear) that I thought I could try again. This year I planted a block, 7 rows, about 35 feet long, which looks to be over 400 stalks. It is not all uniform, the well-watered side is 7 feet tall, the last two rows not well fertilized and dry still only 5 feet, but every stalk is putting on two ears.

    Kandy Corn makes small ears, but they are the kind that hold their sweetness well in the freezer. I've kept some of it over a year and it was delicious when cooked. I have seed for Funk's G-90 which my brother tells me is even better and bigger ears--I'll try that next year.
    Ox
     
  9. MoonShine

    MoonShine Fire On The Mountain

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    I judge by the silks,like Uncle Will said...sometimes,if I feel unsure,I'll pull down the husks a little.
    Good luck with your corn...that variety is soooo good :)