How to Grow Corn

Planting advice for how to grow corn, recommended varieties and corn recipes.

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Zea mays

No sweet corn in summer? That would be a bummer. Nothing's as fabulous as fresh corn on the cob, slathered with butter and sprinkled with salt. Or try brushing on some olive oil and your favorite seasoning blend. Don't forget the napkins.

Hardiness: Grown as an annual.

Planting advice: Plant seeds 1/2 inch deep and 9 to 12 inches apart, with 30 to 36 inches between rows. If you plant more than one variety of the dozens available, plant two or more rows of the same variety side by side to promote cross-pollination.

Harvest tips: Ready to harvest in 75 to 100 days. Pick ears when kernels are smooth and plump, about 3 weeks after silk strands appear. A good test: Prick a kernel with a fingernail. If the juice looks milky, the corn is ready. Use within 1 or 2 days.

To freeze, blanch the cobs for 4 minutes, put them in icy water for 4 more, cut off the kernels and store in airtight freezer bags.

Recommendations: Earlivee (early), Honey & Cream (multicolored), Pearl White (white, drought- tolerant), Sundance.

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Source: Birds & Blooms "Grow Veggies for Less"