Corn on the cob

I have planted corn on the cob for the first time this year.  All looks great - corns are large, but still white.  Will they still ripen if left or can I ripen them in doors?



  • Zoomer44Zoomer44 Posts: 2,935

    There's nothing nicer than corn fresh from picking, I'm envious, didn't grow it this year.

    Corn needs along growing season with plenty of sunshine, certainly in the later stages. I'm happy to be wrong but don't think it will ripen off the plant. I'm in the NW and in previous years not harvested till mid October at the earliest although mini corn on the cob has been earlier.  

    If the strands coming out of the top of the cob have turned brown then they are well on their way to be ripe. You can peel back alittle of the cob and squeeze the kernals, watery means they are not ripe and a milky/creamy texture means they are. In sunny weather the change can happen within a few days but the weather hasn't been kind this summer. Leave them on the plant, providing you don't get frost there is still a few weeks left of growing time for them to ripen. 

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    You're right, Zoomer, corn won't ripen off the plant.

  • DovefromaboveDovefromabove Central Norfolk UKPosts: 43,806

    That sounds like a pollination problem to me - sweet corn will pollinate much better if sown in a block rather than rows.  We've grown some this year in a block of 6 x 5 plants each about 15 inches apart and every plant has produced a fat cob, but yes, the poor weather has had an impact too, warm dry weather aids pollination much better than cold and damp, and a large proportion of our cobs have the top 2-3 inches undeveloped.  But to be honest we were pleasantly surprised to get a crop at all after the summer we've had, and they are delicious.

    And yes, they do like plenty of water.

    No-one knows if you've done your housework, but everyone knows if you've done your gardening !
  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647

    I agree about it probably being a pollination problem. Block-planting is designed to aid pollination. I wish it were my problem when I grow sweet corn here. Instead I keep getting hit with the dreaded Smut, the fungal problem that blows up the kernels into giant blue/grey blobs. A delicacy in some parts of the world but not for me. I never ever saw it growing sweet corn in Sydney. Here, it has hit me each time. Bah.

  • artjakartjak Posts: 4,168

    I recently heard the tip that you should shake the plant gently when the (male?) tassels are fully developed to aid pollination. My veg book says also that exposed roots that appear at base of stem should be covered and they really need water.

  • ItalophileItalophile Posts: 1,647
    artjak wrote (see)

    I recently heard the tip that you should shake the plant gently when the (male?) tassels are fully developed to aid pollination.

    Yes, giving the plants a shake helps get the pollen moving.

  • Badges eat my sweetcorn image

  • maz12maz12 Posts: 2

    leave them on the plant to ripen,wait until the leaves of the plant to start turning yellow.when picked too  early the corn is milky,it needs time to harden up.i leave it on the plant


  • WelshonionWelshonion Posts: 3,115

    When you want to cook the cobs, don't hang about!  Cook them immediately after picking before the sugars in the cobs turn to starch.

    They do say you should take the boiling water to the plants!!  A bit impractical, and I find the best way to cook them is in the microwave with most of their own wrapping on.

  • maz12maz12 Posts: 2

    having reading some of the comments regarding shaking the plant corn is pollinated by wind,hence being grown in blocks approx 16 inchs apart .best place for corn is always outside ,which my neighbour proved ,he has a greenhouse ,his plants there,and mine outside.while eveything in his greenhouse did well,the corn really suffered .they looked thin and weak,however had the height.they have not produced good either,only showing 1 cob,some none.As mine while outside have produced 2 and some even 3.they are from the same seed as i gave them to him as 4inch plants.wind and sun does play a big factor in this crop


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