When to Pick Corn

02Aug12

When to Pick Corn 

There are many different ways to tell when your corn is ready.  You can squeeze the cobs, pull back the husk or just count the days to maturity.  But, you always need to pay special attention to the silks.

The corn grows so fast and so tall that weeds don’t grow much. I didn’t get the hay in the corn before they started getting so tall.

When squeezing the cobs, you want to make sure they are firm but give just a little it.  If you are unsure of the ripeness of the cob, pull it off the stalk and peel back the husk.  If the cob feels plump and the silks are all black.  You call almost be sure the corn is ready to be picked.

Pulling back the husks while the cob is still on the stalk is another way to test if the corn is ripe.  Again, you want to make sure the silks are all dark, almost black and getting dry.  Peel back the husk just until you can see a few of the kernels.  If the kernels look plump and full, your corn is ripe.

My tomatoes are ready to pick and the Chickens enjoy scratching in the hay. This is the first year weeds haven’t taken over the tomato patch.

I have also found that you can mark the days to maturity of the variety you have planted.  Some corn takes longer to mature than others.  Conditions have to be perfect for this method to work.  Again, a good sign is to check the silks.

There is only one sure fire way to tell if your corn is ripe.  Wait until the raccoons raid your corn patch!  This is the method I used this year.   I have fenced in my garden with four feet of chicken wire with seven feet of deer fabric on top of that.  Yes, I have a 10 foot tall fence around my entire garden and the raccoons still get in!  They had a party in my garden and didn’t invite me.

The Raccoons left clean cobs. The only bad thing is they knock down every stalk until they find the ripe ears of corn.

 I planted six 30 foot rows of corn this year.   It has been very hot and dry in my region so I have been watering my corn regularly.  Some of the cobs are only 4 inches long and others are 12 inches long.  I obviously have not been watering them all equally.  This is the third year I have raised a garden by myself but I have never grow this much corn.   Needless to say, I think I’ll give up on the corn next year.  All the fencing could not keep the varmints out!  I did freeze about 8 quarts of corn but I should have had 5 times that much!  Good luck with your corn!

These are the kind of varmints I don’t mind finding in the garden!

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