Maker of clothes, recipes, natural fabric dyeing, Gardener of veg, fruit and flowers.

Maker of clothes, recipes, natural fabric dyeing, Gardener of veg, fruit and flowers.

How to harvest corn

Here a blog post on how to harvest corn. While corn is relatively easy to grow but harvest it was a trick I must admit I yet to master that well yet. It is an important step in growing corn as it will affect the flavour of the corn either it’s going to be sweet or starchy.

How to harvest corn

If you are growing corn in the UK, end August and September seem to be the time for corn harvest. It’s down to the variety that is grown as well. Some varieties have a short growing time and some longer simply because some need longer time to mature.

Previous experience

In order to harvest corn, there are a few components of the corn plant to identify. This is so that one can look out the signs of when the corn is ready to harvest. To be honest I have not grown corn much before and last year my corn harvest was hardly any except one attractive corn fiesta. So this year I hope to do better.

unripe corn tassel

There are the tops of the corn plant which called the tassels. These are male flowers of the corn plant that will pollinate the female part of the plant. The female part of the plant is called ears in which consist of a kernel inside. Once the ears are pollinated it will become corn. The ears also consist of silks at the end of it. This silks is when meets the tassels seeds and pollinate. Come harvest the tassels will turn brown. The silks will also dry out and the kernels will slowly become bigger.

corn ready to harvest

Knowing when to harvest is a tricky bit as if it’s too early it does not quite ripen it won’t be as sweet too late it becomes starchy and less sweet. Some recommend to pull back the corn silk to check if there is a presence of milky fluid. However, by doing so it can make the corn expose to disease, insects eating them while giving them time to ripen. Personally I go with my instinct if the corn feels full and it is having a nice life (healthy plant, not brown) tassels turn brown the top of silks are drying out it is ready to harvest. Also, another factor to take into account is to harvest when you are ready to cook. Mornings is always the best.

When you are ready to harvest the corn just pull off the corn ear off by twisting it off the base. It would not hurt the plant.

corn harvest
corn harvested from garden

No much corn on kernel

Sometimes even with the best effort of harvesting, there is still not much corn produce on the kernel. I have that happening a few times. This is a result of poor pollination corn needs to be planted in blocks rather than rows.

not much corn on kernel

For further information here is a good website to read all about harvesting corn.

How to harvest corn


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