How do I know when my corn is ready to harvest? - Knowledgebase Question

Studio City, Ca
Question by wendy764
July 18, 2010
I planted sweet yellow and also tri color corn seedlings in mid May and they're all growing beautifully. Some of my stalks are 9' tall, others are only about 4-5' tall but all have at least 1 ear of corn growing on them, in various stages. My questions are 1) when do I know when they're ready to harvest? 2) how do I remove them from the stalk? 3) is it common to have 2-3 ears per stalk like I do?


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Answer from NGA
July 18, 2010

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Most corn stalks develop two or three ears. Corn takes a long season to grow, even in hot climates. Some gardeners start checking for ripeness three weeks after the silks appear. If you don't remember when the silks appeared, you can feel the ears through the husks to see if they seem full, with well-developed kernals. Or, you can pull back part of the husk and check for ripeness by piercing a kernal with your thumbnail. If a milky juice squirts out, they're ready to harvest. If not, pull the husk back up and wait a few days. Then check again. Enjoy your corn!

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