How do you know when sweet corn is ready to pick?

May, 2022
Darren Spalding

At harvest time, the silk turns brown, but the skins are still green. If it is not quite there, the liquid is still watery, and if there is no liquid, the piston has already done its best. For growers who start their corn in early to late spring, you can expect your corn to be ready for harvest in mid-to late summer. When it exudes a creamy liquid, it's ready.

You can almost be sure what you're going to find.

How long can sweet corn stay on a stick?

You don't want to wait too long after harvest to peel and store your corn, and you don't want to acquire more than you can ingest and eat before it goes bad. If you love fresh corn but don't want to eat it off the cob every time, you can cut the corn out of your ears and freeze it in bags. However, the longer it is left at room temperature, the less sweet it is and the less fresh it tastes. While peeled corn must not be left out, unpeeled corn can be kept at room temperature for a short time before cooling.

Read on for corn harvest information to help you decide when is the right time to harvest corn


What happens if you pick corn too early?

Knowing what type of corn you want to grow is critical to keeping your corn sweet when it lands on your plate. Exposed caterpillars can be controlled with Bt, a spray made from naturally occurring bacteria. However, the goal is to prevent infection in the first place by keeping your corn bed free of weeds. The Green Thumb 2.0 provides a great explanation of what these terms mean when you want to learn more about sugar-enhanced and super-sweet corns. This trick actually works — I've recently used it on a dozen ears of corn I've prepared for dehydration.


which month is sweetcorn harvested in the UK?

Corn is a one-year warm season that is best planted after soil temperature reaches 16°F (60°F), usually two or three weeks after the last frost in spring. When you need to check that your sweet corn cobs are ready to harvest, the tassels (sometimes called silk) turn a chocolate brown color on the top of the cobs. Each plant should produce one or two cobs of corn. This should give you a rough idea of how much harvest you can expect. Be careful not to grow supersweet plants alongside other varieties, as cross-pollination can result in bad taste.


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