Removing Silks from Sweet Corn in the Garden

Planting Sweet Corn

The best time to plant sweet corn is during the spring after the last frost date has happened. When it comes to planting sweet corn or any kind of corn variety it should be planted in blocks or squares for better pollination. Planting in blocks instead of long rows ensures that once the crop starts tasselling the wind can effectively pollinate the corn. Corn is a self-pollinating plant that produces a male flower, which is commonly referred to as a tassel, and a female flower, which is commonly referred to as the silks. In order for kernels of corn to be produced by the plant, the male flowers must pollinate the female flowers. The male flower is located at the very top of the plant whereas the female flower is formed along the stalk of the plant. The male flower contains the pollen, which is primarily spread by wind, that will be used to pollinate the female plant in the garden. Another major factor of planting sweet corn is it needs plenty of drip irrigation to grow throughout the season. Since corn is a heavy feeder it needs plenty of water and fertilizer to get healthy producing plants during the warmer months.

Removing Silks

On this week’s episode, Travis is demonstrating the easiest way to remove silks from sweet corn. This year, Travis planted Ambrosia Sweet Corn that is a hybrid, sugary-enhanced variety with excellent flavor profiles. When sweet corn is ready to harvest from the garden Travis explains that the corn silks become brown. After harvesting all the sweet corn, then he uses the corn silking brush to easily remove the silks from the corn cobs. The brush has extra-soft bristles that allow you to brush the cobs without damaging or puncturing the kernels. This brush works great on many different field corn and sweet corn varieties.

Different Sweet Corn Varieties

The Silver Queen has been a popular older corn variety that has been grown in the garden for several years. It usually grows 8 to 9 inches tall and produces ears that are 8 to 9 inches long. An All-American Selections winner, the Honey Select Sweet Corn variety is a sugary enhanced hybrid that has an excellent flavor profile. While the sugary enhanced Peaches and Cream variety contains bicolor ears that are white and yellow kernels that perform best when creamed and frozen for later use on the homestead. Another variety that is our personal favorite is the Incredible Sweet Corn which contains an excellent disease resistance package. Lastly, the Stowell’s Evergreen is an heirloom, open-pollinated variety that produces consistent white kernels that have a great flavor profile and stores well after harvesting from the vegetable garden.

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