When to pick sweet corn

I had to look up this answer myself since this is the first year I have grown sweet corn (Growing Challenge), here is the advice I found online:

From my personal experience, use tassel color to determine if you should even bother checking if it is ready. Use the kernel color to determine if should actually pick it, since when I previous tried just by tassel color it definitely needed another week of growth.

Does anyone else have any proven techniques to pick that perfect ear of corn?

13 Responses to “When to pick sweet corn”

  1. Sheila Says:

    It has been my experience that all the corn seems to ripen the same day, so planting 80 stalks does not result in corn all summer, but a full week of nothing but corn! I guess I should have stagger planted it!


  2. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    Well fortunately if this happens to me I should have enough for dinner with only 3 stalks surviving.


  3. TopVeg Says:

    Not quite sunny enough to grow sweetcorn here, unfortunately


  4. Robj98168 Says:

    OOOOOOOOOOh. Time to pick corn? When carpinito Bros has it 10 ears for $1. LOL I didn’t grow corn this year, but plan to next year.


  5. The Cheap Vegetable Gardener Says:

    I had to break down and buy a couple ears at a local farmers market, had to pay $.50 each but they were mighty sweet.robj98168, aren’t the 10 for $1 sales when the corn has been sitting there for a week getting starchy and they want to get rid of it?


  6. Shibaguyz Says:

    We used to tell by the tassel color. When it turned brown, it was time to check the top and pick those puppies!! How cool that you planted corn for the growing challenge!Okay… it’s on!! Next year we’re putting in some corn!


  7. Robj98168 Says:

    Actually no. The corn has never been starchy. Or not that I have ever noticed. Of course with corn prices this year being what they are- I really don’t expect 10 for $1. probably more like 6 FOR $1. But homegrown is much better.


  8. cobbnewsandtimes Says:

    I plant more corn than I could ever use so when it looks ready I shuck an ear and take a bit. If it taste good in the garden it will taste good in the house.


  9. GLD Says:

    Always had trouble growing corn here in Ohio. Corn smut the first year and severely underdeveloped the other 4 years. Talked to one of the biggest corn producers in the county and read eveything I could before planting this year. My corn is now 8′ tall and exceptionally healthy. What struck a cord with me is what the poster said. I went out and broke off the one ear that was the darkest, driest, biggest. Very nicely developed kernels but when I popped a kernel, the liquid seemed watery. Cooked it anyway, the kernels nearest the end were fantastic but kernels nearest the husk had little flavor. After eating, there was an aftertaste sorta on the bitter side. Obviously not ready, so looking for the milky liquid when you pop a kernel is definitely the way to go, judge the silk just as a beginning. Another 7-10 days and I will be swimming in corn, 40 plants for a single guy will make me very popular with the neighbors.


  10. bbhybrid Says:

    First year of planting. two rows 8″ between made the corn stalks a little close. Didn’t think I would get any since all my neighbors have failed for years. I have 2 20′ rows of corn about 50 plants each with 4 or 5 ears on them. We have clayish soil in PA so I added moo-nure, mushroom compote, peat moss, humus, and garden soil from home depot. My stalks are 8+ feet high and so are the hybrid sunflower plants. Sunflowers are developing 6-10 8″ flower bursts from yellow to dark red/orange.
    Back to the corn, almost ready to harvest some. staggered planting by a 2 weeks, hopefully get a months worth of harvest.


  11. Skyhill Says:

    Went to Walmart of all places and bought some pre-started corn. Planted about 8 stalks and lo and behold all but one took and 5 have two ears on each stalk. I live on central Long Island and do not have good soil. As a matter of fact, I have mostly rocks and dirt devoid of any nutrients at all. Just thought it would be fun to give it a shot. I have watched them grow to about 8 ft tall and am getting ready to pick the first ear. Guess sometimes all you really do need is a little sun, water, and love!!!


  12. Min Lee Alexander Cambridge Says:

    I am a student and i found your info on the site really helpful for my study, Please keep it up.


  13. robertseakykr Says:

    We plant about 4 acres and sell sweet corn from a stand in the summer. Easiest way to know when it’s ready is to watch for the silks to emerge after the corn tassels. Mark down the date of silk emergence and pick the corn 20 days later. Stagger your planting, as the corn remains prime for only about 3 or 4 days before it begins to become over-ripe.


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