When Is Sweet Corn Ready To Pick

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Last Updated on December 31, 2021 by Tony Manhart

Gardening offers you the benefits of enjoying fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs in the comfort of your home. Sweet corn is a good example of this benefit. It may be quite easy to tell when to pick some fruits based on their looks and feel, but are you able to determine when is sweet corn ready to pick?

As opposed to other fruits, you might not be able to determine if sweet corn is ready to pick from the outside appearance. You may need to have a closer look to tell if sweet corn is ready to be picked.

We will be giving you some tips on how to tell when sweet corn is ready to pick. So let’s begin.

When is Sweet Corn Ready to Pick

First things first, ensure for each variety of your corn, you know the number of days until harvest time. Your corn is ready for harvesting when you count 20 days from when the silk first appears at the top of the corn ear.

Sweet Corn Ready to Pick

Signs to Know Your Sweet Corn is Ripe

To know when sweet corn is ready to pick, do this: Take a look at what the tassel at the top of the corn ear looks like. The tassel consists of the silk of the corn. This is the part of the plant that bears and receives pollen.

When the corn silk is fertilized by the tassels at the top of the stalk, they get wrinkled and the ears develop. The kernels of the sweet corn start to ripe. Simultaneously the corn silk turns from light blond color to dark brown.

When the silk of the corn becomes brown throughout the entire silk, your corn is ripe.

To be more certain your sweet corn is ready to be picked, do this: Open the husk just a little or cut a small vertical line into the husk’s ear. Take a glance at the kernels, look for tightly filled kernels.

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Make sure you see the kernels are tightly filled from the base of the bottom of the corn ear to the top of the plant. Also, puncture your fingernails into the kernels. The liquid that comes out should be milky, they should not watery.

When you notice all these signs, your sweet corn is definitely ready to be picked.

Note: while you are trying to open and check the husk of the corn, make the cut small to prevent pests from entering.

How to Pick Your Sweet Corn

The best time to harvesting your sweet corn is early in the morning. To pick your corn correctly, simply grip the ear of your corn firmly. With your thumb at the top of your corn’s ear and your other fingers at the bottom of the corn’s ear. Twist and pull the corn. Your sweet corn will snap out of its stalk easily.


Harvest all your sweet corn when it’s milky. Pick as much sweet corn as you can eat. Store the rest in a tight plastic bag inside your refrigerator.

You should also pull up your corn stalk right after harvesting. You can cut the stalks into pieces and add them to the compost pile.


How do you know when sweet corn is ready to pick?

Sweet corn is one of the easiest vegetables to grow and harvest. It can also produce a crop at any time of the year. However, it can be difficult to know when sweet corn is ready to pick because they don't stay in season long. When harvesting sweet corn, it is important to know when it is ready because the sugar content will quickly drop if not picked soon enough.

A good way to tell whether sweet corn is ready to pick would be by using a sense of smell and hearing. If you can smell the corn softening, notice the tell-tale color change or hear the kernels popping in their husks, then that means that they are ripe enough to pick up and eat! It's best to look for a yellowish color on the cob that turns white as you get closer to picking.

What happens if you pick corn too early?

If you pick corn too early, your corn will be more susceptible to disease. That's because the corn is not pollinated yet and the pollinating insects have not come out yet. Once the insect sets come out, they will start to pollinate your corn and that will help it grow better.

If you wait too long, though, the insects may move on to other areas of the farm and won't return until next year. If they don't make another stop before they leave, then your crop won't grow as well as it would have without them stopping by.

If you pick corn too early, it may not grow as large and produce fewer tasseles- which is the top of the stalk that holds the flowers that produce corn kernels. It also has a weaker stalk, meaning there are fewer leaves and less food for pollinators like birds and bees.

Picking corn too early can have a negative impact on yield, crop quality, plant vigor (the strength of the plant), and pollination.

Why does my sweet corn not turn yellow?

One common cause is if the kernels are old, which can happen when you over-sow or plant late season corn. It's also possible for them to turn gray if you have been harvesting your corn too soon and there is still green stalk left on the ears. You may also see them turning brown due to a waterlogged soil condition, if it has been raining heavily in your area. Finally, they may end up looking gray/brown due to an iron deficiency.

If your sweetcorn is not turning yellow, it might also be because you have been buying organic sweetcorn. The reason for this is that organic sweetcorn does not contain beta carotene so it does not turn yellow.

What is the ideal time for harvesting sweet corn or green corn?

Harvesting sweet corn is an important step in the process of producing fresh corn. A time has to be chosen that is not too early and is not too late.

When harvesting sweet corn, the ideal time for the harvest varies depending on various factors including climate and temperature. The optimum time for your harvest may depend on how much head-room you have before frost season and how soon you want your harvest to be ready to sell at market.
The ideal time to harvest sweet corn is one week after you plant it. Wait two weeks after that and then harvest by cutting off the stalk at ground level. Cutting at ground level will prevent your corn from being infested with worms and insects and cause less damage to the plant.

How many cobs of corn do you get per plant?

The answer should be between 3 and 4 ears cobs plant.

Does corn regrow after harvest?

Corn regrows after harvest: In the past, corn was a seed that would grow underground. Nowadays, it is planted in rows and can be harvested several times before it dies.

The plant only has two or three growing seasons before it dies out, making it impossible for the crop to grow again.

How far apart are corn rows?

The distance between two rows of corn is about 2.5 inches or 6.35 centimeters!

A study published in "The Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" revealed that the majority of corn varieties have a wide spacing between them. There are some exceptions like Oaxacan, which has tight spacing.


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