Sweet Corn: From Garden to Table

Sweet corn is one of the best things about summer. Sweet corn is delicious grilled, boiled, or over a fire. It goes with just about everything. Summer and sweet corn go together like peanut butter and jelly. Think about those summer nights when friends and family are gathered together. Is there corn on the cob? Most likely. As summer approaches, now is the time to think about whether or not you want to plant your own corn. In this article we’ll go over everything you need to do to get delicious sweet corn from your garden to your table. 

Planting Sweet Corn

Planting sweet corn can be tricky. Corn plants are a little picky about their soil conditions. This plant cannot be dropped down anywhere and be successful. Soil treated with fertilizer will give you fertile soil for your sweet corn. Corn needs to be planted when there is no chance of freezing temperatures. Corn needs to be plated at least 2 weeks after the last expected frost. Starting your seeds inside is not recommended, corn does the best outside. Plant your kernels 1 inch deep and 4-6 inches apart. When planting several rows of corn, the rows need to be 30-36 inches apart. Instead of planting a few long rows, plant a lot of short rows. Make your cornrows into a square instead of a long rectangle. Doing this will help your corn pollinate at a quicker pace for faster germination. Once all of the kernels are planted, water the rows significantly. 

Caring for Your Sweet Corn

Stay on top of weeding your corn. Weeds can kill your corn plants in a hurry. Watch out for pests, raccoons and bugs love sweet corn. Continue to water your corn consistently, but do not overwater. Overwatering is just as bad as under-watering. As the corn grows you can break off the smaller ears near the bottom of the plant. This will result in a few giant ears instead of a lot of small ears. This step is really up to you. Sometimes it is nice to have huge ears of corn, or maybe you’d rather have smaller ones.

Harvesting Your Sweet Corn

Harvest the ears of corn when the tassel at the top starts to turn brown. The ear of corn should be full and milky. If the corn kernels begin to get dimples, you’ve waited too long to harvest. When the kernels get dimples in them, they turn starchy instead of sweet. Once you’ve picked your ears of corn, time is of the essence because they start to lose their sweetness. You will need to eat or preserve your corn shortly after harvesting.

Image Source: Pixabay

Summing Up

Growing sweet corn can be difficult, but just think of the reward! In the summer you’ll have buttery, delicious corn that bursts in your mouth when you take a bite. Imagine harvesting your own corn and inviting everyone over to enjoy them with you. Summer is approaching and it is not too late to plant your corn to get it from your garden to your table.

Image Source: Pixabay

Denali Gillen

I am a farmer’s wife living a farmer’s life. I love having wide open spaces and plenty of space to raise a family. Making the most out of outdoor spaces is something I never get tired of!

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