How to plant sweet corn


Planting sweet corn. Suitable for larger gardens only, but may be grown in virtually all parts of the United States. Sweet corn is a warm-weather plant and once the requirements of fertility, good drainage, and moisture are met the type of soil is not especially important. Rows of corn should be set a yard apart and the plants a foot apart in each row. Sow the seeds 1 1/2 inches deep. A quarter pound of seed is enough for zoo feet of row. Fresh corn being one of the favourite foods served at any table, a rear effort should be made to gather the ears at exactly the right time.

Sweet corn should be harvested when it is in the milk stage, when crushing a kernel with the thumbnail releases a thick milk. It has passed its best stage when the kernel has become doughy. And corn should be used as quickly as possible. The only cultivation that corn requires is that sufficient to remove weeds. Sweet corn is planted in the South from early spring until late autumn, but heat, drought, and the presence of the corn earworm in the locality make good midsummer results difficult. In the North it cannot be planted safely until the ground has warmed up.

In both North and South succession plantings should be made to insure an always ready supply. Sometimes it is desirable to plant it between the rows of such early crops as peas, lettuce, or early potatoes, before those crops are removed. Hybrid sweet corn is gaining rapidly in popularity over the open-pollinated varieties in many home gardens, since the majority of hybrids are superior in yield and quality, but the gardener must be sure that he obtains seeds only for the varieties that are known to be good in his particular locality. He should be guided by the recommendations of state and federal agencies.

Remember that hybrid seed must be produced newly each year from special parent strains under special conditions; do not save hybrid seed for planting because it will not come true to seed. Good open-pollinated white varieties are: White Early Market, Country Gentleman, Stowell Evergreen, Whipple Early White, and Early Market. Good open-pollinated yellow varieties are listed as follows in order of earliness: Golden Early Market, Golden Sunshine, Golden Bantam, Whipple Early Yellow, Bantam Evergreen. Good white hybrids, all somewhat late, are Stowell Evergreen Hybrid 14 x 5, Country Gentleman Hybrid 14 x 5, and Redgreen. Good yellow hybrids, in order of earliness, are: Marcross 13.6, Spancross P39, Maine Bantam P39, Whipeross P39, Golden Cross Bantam, Ioana, Honey June, which is large, late and white, may be planted in southern localities troubled by serious earworm damage.

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