garden_mom
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How do you know your corn is ripe?

I cannot believe I am asking such a stupid question. But this year it seems like the silk on my corn dried almost immediately, yet the cobs keep growing. (That is, some of the cobs keep growing, the rest are stunted for some reason). Anyway, what really am I looking for here?

jstr12
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Here is some info I got of the web!:Q: How do you know when an ear of corn is ripe and ready to be picked?

A: You know that sweet corn is almost ready for the cooking pot when the ears look plump and the exposed part of the silk, at the top of each ear, is dry and dark brown. To determine the exact ripeness of an ear, make a vertical slit in the husk near the top of an ear and use your thumbnail to puncture a kernel. The corn is at peak sweetness when the liquid in the kernels is neither watery nor opaque, but translucent.

Don't be fooled by poorly filled-out ears. If the silks are brown and the ear looks plump, but the kernels near the top of the ear aren't filled out, check a little lower where plump kernels may be maturing. When these are ready, harvest, even if there are undeveloped ones near the top.

Kernels that fail to develop didn't get fertilized. This can happen if plants are grown too close together or if there are too few plants in a group so the wind doesn't carry enough pollen to reach each of the silks, or if the corn is growing in a microclimate that is too chilly for proper pollen development.

To improve your chances of getting corn, be sure that the final distance between plants is 10 to 12 inches and that they are in square or round plantings that are at least 4 feet on a side.

Expect poor results with corn in the foggiest parts of the Bay Area, but in moderately foggy to sunny parts (in warmer parts of San Francisco and inland) you have until mid-July to plant a fast second crop. 'Early Sunglow,' rated at 55 days, may take as long as 90 days in moderately foggy areas, but still, that means you can harvest it just before the first October rains
Also don't feel stupid, I don't know when to pick corn either! (I only read the first paragraph!)

jstr :)
Jstr =D

Bob
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I can usually tell when the ears are ready by simply squeezing the ears lightly to check for plumpness and firmness of the husk to the ear. You should be able to pretty well tell if an ear is ready for harvest by it’s firmness of husk to ear. When they’re ready, the husk are tight and firm. If still in doubt, pull the husk down a little at the top and check the kernels a couple of inches down from the silk.

Ears that aren’t full and are spotty full are usually caused by weather conditions during pollination, or poor pollination due to lack of “otherâ€

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Franco
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Wow great info Bob. I'm actually trying to grow corn in pots. I have 2 pots with two corn plants in each, they are side by side(the pots that is). Do you see any problems with this? The corn is about a foot and a half tall.

garden_mom
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Thanks for the great info! I appreciate it! :D

opabinia51
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And there are lots of neat heirloom varieties of corn out there. This year I am growing Pomegranate Pink Popping Corn (the kernals look like pomegranate seeds but, pop a brilliant white) and Andian Blue Corn. I use it to make flour and may try eating it fresh this year as well.

growin' stuff
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Thanks for the info on growing and harvesting corn. This our first time growing it and my husband was worried about when it's ready to be picked. It's definitely not ready yet. :D

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rainbowgardener
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Franco wrote: I'm actually trying to grow corn in pots. I have 2 pots with two corn plants in each, they are side by side(the pots that is). Do you see any problems with this? The corn is about a foot and a half tall.
I don't know if that will work or not. At this point you might as well continue the experiment. In general it is hard to grow just a few corn plants. Each individual kernal of corn needs its own grain of pollen to fertilize it or it won't develop. That means there needs to be a lot of pollen flying around and reaching the corn. It works better to grow at least a 3x3' block of corn, better is 4x4'. But see what happens!
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TZ -OH6
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This can help you if you need to hand pollinate a few plants

https://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/Silks.html

There is also a page on tasseling


https://www.agry.purdue.edu/ext/corn/news/timeless/Tassels.html

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Francis Barnswallow
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This topic got 33628 views. :wink:

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rainbowgardener
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That's because if you look at the top, it was started back in 2006!! I didn't realize that it was an old thread that had been bumped, when I responded
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

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Francis Barnswallow
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rainbowgardener wrote:That's because if you look at the top, it was started back in 2006!! I didn't realize that it was an old thread that had been bumped, when I responded
:lol:

I just noticed that.

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