Tate
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Location: Houston

Corn questions

I saw a thread on this board about when to harvest corn. I remember it being very detailed, but can't find it now. Does anyone remember that thread or have a link to it?

Also, I left my side-shoots on my corn and they are actually tasselling. Does this mean I might get an ear from the side shoots? Some of the side-shoots are 5 feet tall. I have side dressed the corn with feather meal (12-0-0) a couple of times. It seems to be working so far. This is a small plot of corn so I have been hand pollinating just to make sure. I see two sets of silks on each stalk. I assume this is a good sign. Any feedback is appreciated.

Thanks,

Tate

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jal_ut
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Sounds like you have a great patch of corn coming. I never prune the side shoots. Corn that is too crowded or in poor soil will not make those shoots. If conditions are good the corn will send them out It seems to know what is appropriate. These side shoots are called tillers. Sometimes "suckers". I just let them grow, sometimes they will also have a small ear of corn on them. It is the norm for corn to put out two harvestable ears. That is why they got named ears. One on each side.

When to harvest? If it is sweet corn for eating when in the milk, you watch for the husks to fill out and look tight. I will open an ear by just peeling the husk back a bit to let me look at the kernels. If its yellow corn, the kernels will turn yellow when ready, if it is still white, it is not ready. The size of the kernel is a good clue too. The kernels on the very end of the ear are the last to get some size to them, so look down on the cob about an inch.

[url=https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/rowcrops/a1173/a1173w.htm]Want some more reading on corn?[/url]
Gardening at 5000 feet elevation, zone 4/5 Northern Utah, Frost free from May 25 to September 8 +/-

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GardenRN
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I always pop a kernel to tell if they're ready. When the hairs on the end of the cob turn about halfway brown, peel back a bit of the husk. Pop one kernel with your finger nail. If the juice is clear, it's not ready. If it's a milky color, pick it!

Side note: It's always sweeter when picked in the morning. Even if not cooked until that night.
Jeff

USDA Zone 7a, Sunset Zone 32.

Failure is only a fact when you give up.

Tate
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Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 6:39 pm
Location: Houston

Thanks for the replies. That helps a lot.

Jal_ut, thanks for the link on corn. Great info!

Tate
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Posts: 62
Joined: Wed May 19, 2010 6:39 pm
Location: Houston

One more quick question. Once the corn is ready to pick, how soon do you need to pick it before the quality starts to decline? How much of a window do I have is what I am looking for? I think I am real close on some ears, but not others. I intentionally staggered my planting so it won't all be ready at the same time, but I want to understand how much room for error I have here.

Is it like snap green beans? Once they get too big, the quality drops off.

Thanks again,

Tate

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soil
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yes if you leave them too long they will get grainy inside and not taste that great. best to harvest and freeze them for later.
For all things come from earth, and all things end by becoming earth.

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Gary350
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My grandfather told me when the silks are about half dried out it is time to pick the corn. That is usually true but like Jal said you need to examine the ears.

I like to pick my corn when it has maximum flavor. If I let the corn grow longer it gets larger, tough and looses flavor. You have to decide what you want large corn or best flavor.

Before you pick your corn have a pot of water boiling. Corn starts loosing its flavor about 20 minutes after it was picked. Get it in boiling water as soon as you can you only need to heat it to 155 degrees to kill the enzymes that cause it to loose flavor.

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