How To Tell When Corn Is Ready For Picking
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Gardening is best done with some insight on the nature and behavior of the crops being cultivated. Such behaviors specifically refer to the growing characteristics of different plants as well as any abnormal signs that might come their way. Plants need some required level of care for them to grow and yield the expected fruits or so. Corn is an essential plant as it feeds both human beings and animals all over the world. There are different types of corn available in the groceries for instance sweet corn and popcorn.
The difference in some types of corn available in groceries is simply the harvesting time. Corn harvesting calls for a keen sense of timing. Picking corn before the time is right or later than the suitable time denies you the chance of enjoying sweet corn. Most people are seen to blame the variety of crop they planted, but the real problem is the unsuitable harvesting time. Your corn harvesting headache can be considered done as we have prepared some information that will correctly show you the right time to harvest corn.
Corn takes between 60 and 100 days for full maturity
However, the period in which the matured corn is at its prime, sweet taste does not stay for long. In most varieties, this sweet flavor goes away rapidly except for the ones that naturally have the super sweet taste. The major sign showing that corn is ready for picking is when its ears become filled out. You do not have to keep checking your corn plants every day as you can estimate the maturity date based on the planting date. Due to the large maturity window which is also affected by other conditions such as weather and nutrients, it is advisable to have a reviewed period for the particular variety you planted. This will give you a general idea of when to expect a good crop.
Feeling the ears is an excellent way to know whether they are filled out
If one is rounded and not pointed, they are definitely ready. The silks are a good indicator as they dry up when the corn ears are prime for harvesting. If you are not entirely satisfied, go ahead and pull the husk a bit and observe if the ear is filled generously. Observe the kernels and see whether they are white or creamy. Pierce the kernel with your finger and observe the liquid oozing from it, if it is clear, the crop is not yet ready, if it is milky then you have the green light to pick it.
The observations that involve opening the husks increase the certainty that the corn plant is ready
However, it is not advisable to open an ear that has not matured. Such ears are vulnerable to bird and insect attacks once they are exposed. With a little bit of practice and experience, you will be able to tell when corn is prime by simple observation.
All these harvesting tips are aimed at picking corn when it’s sweetness is optimum. Corn plants are purely starch producers, and they manufacture natural sugar while slowly filling the kernels. The kernels have a food storage section and the embryo of the corn fruit. Seeds cannot store sugar but can survive on starch during the harsh seasons. Sugar is chemically active and cannot be stored, and that is why plants convert it to starch before storage. The moment the kernels get filled with sugar, the plant initiates the starch conversion process. For optimal taste, ensure you harvest corn before the starch conversion process begins.
It is best to pick corn when you want to eat it. An ideal way is to have the boiling water ready before heading out to pick corn. The natural conversion process is hastened once the corn is plucked off the plant. Once the corn fruit is plucked, the natural direction of the plant is to nourish the seed. It has been seen that in about one day, most corn fruits tend to convert more than half their sugar to starch. However, thanks to the new super sweet varieties, you can get corn that retains the sweetness for much longer.
Popcorn harvesting is a bit different and easier from sweet corn harvesting. This is because popcorn does not need to be harvested when its sweetness is optimal. Popcorn is left in the garden until the husks turn brown before harvesting. Be careful not to leave the corn out for too long lest frost hits. Popcorn is utilized when dry, but not entirely dry as there is some amount of moisture needed for it to pop. To achieve this, harvested popcorn needs an additional five weeks of drying in a warm and well-ventilated place before they become suitable for cooking.
From the discussed aspects above, it is clear that knowing the right time to harvest corn is not a hard thing. You need to clearly understand the importance of this timing and how to read the signs correctly. After a few sessions of harvesting corn, you will be capable of spotting ripe corn without further tests.