Today it’s all about how to grow sweet corn from start to finish. Do you love hot corn on the cob? I sure do. Is your mouth watering just thinking about it? I love the company where I get my seeds because their corn is Organic. I want to explain why Organic is better than Non-GMO. These tips may help you understand why it’s better to buy organic sweet corn. Let me be clear, I am against GMO seeds and food. This is where I purchase my garden seeds: SeedsNow
- no GMO’s are ever used.
- No Round-Up Herbicides used (they can possibly cause the following cancers: kidney and breast cancer).
- No-growth hormones which contribute to obesity in all of us. And don’t forget you may have antibiotic resistance.
- No synthetic pesticides (linked to Leukemia and lymphoma)
- No human waste, as in sewage sludge where the plants are grown and harvested.
- There are more issues, but this lets you see why we need to be picky about what we eat. NOW.
Genetically Modified Seeds
- They use herbicides, growth hormones, pesticides, and the food is grown where feces may be present.
- They are not Heirloom seeds, they are genetically modified. This means that any GMO product is an organism whose genetic material has been altered by using genetic engineering techniques.
Sweet Corn Soil Amendments
The first thing we need to do is pull any weeds that have come up since the last time you turned over the soil. Dig out any leftover crops that you may have missed the last time you harvested. Turn the soil several times and add the following amendments, if you need them.
How To Grow Sweet Corn
Corn likes full sun, so plant accordingly. They need well-drained and fertile soil. Put 2-4 inches of compost and well-rotted manure so the soil will drain better. They need a soil ph level of 5.8 to 6.5. Add lime to raise the pH and add sulfur to lower it. Plant the seeds two weeks after the last frost in your area. It’s not recommended to plant seeds in the house and transplant, so I have always sowed them directly outside. I’ve heard of people planting them inside and transplanting them later, just giving you the heads up.
Plant the seeds 1.5 to 2-inches deep and 4-6 inches apart and in rows of three about 8-12 inches apart. You are better off to have several rows, as in three, over having one really long row. They will pollinate better from one plant to another. Please make sure the temperature of the soil is 60 degrees F. or above for successful germination. This is the Garden Thermometer I have to test my soil temperature. Fertilize often with nitrogen and phosphorus. 16-16-8 is a good choice for fertilizer. Put two pounds of 16-16-8 per 100 square feet of garden.
Once you see sprouts, corn needs an additional fertilizer of 46-0-0, so sprinkle some around those sprouts. Once the stalks have 8-10 leaves add a ratio of 1/2 pound of 46-0-0 fertilizer to 100 square feet of garden. When the silk starts developing add 1/4 pound of 46-0-0 fertilizer to 100 square feet of garden.
I recommend spacing a few seeds every week so you can have corn for several weeks. Sweet corn is different than other vegetables. One stalk only grows 3-4 cobs and it’s done. Yep, all that work for 3 or 4 cobs, but it’s worth it, I promise.
Corn: ph level of 5.8 to 6.5
Why Do The Cobs Have Tassels?
The Tassels on the top of the corn provides the pollen that will drop to the ears below and then the kernels fill out and make sweet plump corn cobs. Pollination is critical. If the Tassels are the color shown below, the corn is still growing.
When Is The Corn Ready To Pick?
This is the fun part. When Tassels are dark brown like the picture below they may be ready to pick. First, peel back the tip of the silk and check the sap. If you squeeze a kernel and it bleeds a white milky substance like thin milk, it’s ready to pick.
If the substance is clear they are not ready yet. When the substance is more like cream the cobs will be starchy. Pick those right away. You know when you have a some sweet corn, it’s because it’s been picked at the perfect time.
What Is The Best Time To Pick?
The best time to pick your sweet corn is early in the morning when it’s cool.
Is There An Easy Way To Clean it?
My son-in-law, Nate taught me the best way to clean corn. You cut both ends off and THEN peel back the silk and it comes right off. I wish I’d known this trick when I used to shuck, scrape, and freeze 12 dozen ears from our garden when the girls were young.
You can use a vegetable brush to scrub off the remaining silks before cooking.
What Is Blanching Corn?
If you decide to freeze a lot of corn as I do, you need to bring the clean cobs to a boil to destroy the enzymes before you freeze it. Then “blanch” them in cold water as shown below. This makes it so you can store the corn a little longer in your freezer. I never store mine for longer than one year. I put two cups of corn in each freezer bag and it tastes like freshly picked corn when you cook it even six months later. A little piece of heaven, if I don’t say so myself.
Mexican Corn On The Cob
I have to share the story about this Mexican Corn on the cob. Mark and I went to an activity in a city called Hurricane, Utah. It was called “Peach Days” and I saw a man walking with
Well, I had to know what it was, so I asked him. He mentioned it was Mexican Corn and he pointed to the booth that was selling it. Oh my gosh, how did I not know that this awesome recipe existed? So, I went over and bought one and asked them what the seasoning contained. This is how I came up with the recipe. A little trial and error. I like Miracle Whip on mine, Mark likes mayo. Let me know if you had eaten this or not, I would love to hear.
- 6-8 corn on the cobs (cooked, ends cut off with husks/silk removed)
- 1 cup grated dry parmesan cheese
- 2-4 teaspoons of chili powder (depends on how spicy)
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mayonnaise or Miracle Whip
Combine the parmesan cheese, chili powder, garlic salt, salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Lather the corn cobs with mayo or Miracle Whip and then roll the cooked cobs in the mixture.
I hope this post today gets you excited to start a garden, whether or not you plant some sweet corn. I bet you love homegrown tomatoes, right? It’s so easy to grow tomatoes, and when you see that first tomato ripen, it’s so exciting. Thanks for being prepared for the unexpected. May God bless this world. Linda
This is where I purchase my vegetable seeds: SeedsNow