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Harvesting Sweet Corn

Nothing beats the flavor of fresh-from-the-garden sweet corn. Maximize your enjoyment with proper harvesting and storage.

Sweet corn is ready in 60 to 100 days, depending on the variety. Warmer temperatures can shorten the time from planting to harvest while cooler weather will have you waiting longer.

Start monitoring your plants when the silks turn brown and dry, then check frequently. The ears should be firm and kernels plump, smooth and tender. Puncture a kernel with your thumbnail to see if the liquid is milky and the ear is ready to harvest.

Eat, refrigerate, can or freeze your corn as soon as possible after picking or purchase. The sugar content quickly decreases, and starch increases once harvested and exposed to warm summer temperatures.

Fortunately, the sugar enhanced types and supersweet varieties have sweeter, tender kernels and a longer shelf life.

A bit more information: Each corn stalk produces one large ear and some varieties will produce a second. Remove the years with a quick downward push or twist and pull.

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