Find out if the corn is ready to harvest

The difference in quality between canned corn and a good cob of corn harvested from your own garden and cooked to the best of its ability is really a good reason to grow your own corn .

However, to get the most out of this vegetable, you have to know how to choose the right moment to remove the ear from the plant, before the sugar contained in the beans turns into starch and loses its sweetness.

While the corn is being harvested

If you want to harvest sweet corn to eat it cooked, the harvest depends on the weather, the planting time and the variety of corn planted. Normally, the harvest of maize for consumption takes place between August and September. To collect the cobs to grind, on the other hand, the plants are supposed to dry out, so harvesting is done from the end of September and throughout October.


Harvest sweet corn for consumption

Indicators to understand when to harvest maize:

    • Corn on the cob. To be ready for harvest, the cob must be well swollen and its kernels must have acquired the characteristic color of the variety (the most common corn is yellow, but there are varieties with red, purple, white, black and same harlequin).
    • Nail test. The corn kernel should not be too hard when pressed. If you try to cut it with your fingernail or crush it, a whitish liquid should come out. If the liquid is clear water, the corn is not ripe, if nothing comes out, you probably waited too long.
    • Leaves and plant. It is better to pick the cobs before the leaves of the plant turn yellow, otherwise the dry grains will become hard and lose sugar. If you wait for the plant to dry out, you can use the corn to grind it into polenta.
    • Cob beard color. Daub beard threads should be dry.
  • terminal beans. Kernels near the stalk are usually lighter or even whiter and fuller of liquid when the panicle is ready, however, checking the color of these kernels is not a good method to assess the degree of ripeness as it comes down to peel the panicle, if unripe will remain easy prey for birds and mice.

start from the top . Usually the first ear to ripen is the tallest, so check first and to do a staggered harvest start with all those above the different plants.

How to separate the cob from the plant. Harvesting corn is very easy and no tools are needed. Simply hold the cob and unscrew it from the plant.

choose the best time : The amount of sugar in the corn kernel decreases with increasing temperature, so it is best to pick the cobs early in the morning and immediately put them in the refrigerator. Care must be taken to ensure that harvested maize is kept cold as the conversion of sugar to starch is rapid once harvested, so sweetness is lost.

How to store the cob . After removing the corn from the plant, you can store the cobs in the refrigerator for a few days, no more than a week.

Choose the corn from the popcorn

If you planted a variety of popcorn, which is a cute and original idea, you don’t need to harvest the soft corn, but rather let the plant dry out. The popcorn kernel must be hard and without much water so that it can pop in the characteristic way.

When to harvest corn to grind it to make polenta

If you want to make corn flour, with which you will later cook polenta, you must let the cobs ripen on the plant. With the yellowing of the stem and leaves, the grain also dries out, loses water and sugar, and fills with starch. It is very easy to understand when to take the cobs for crushing them: the plants must be completely dry, both the stem and the leaves will be golden yellow.

Leave a Comment