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Corn

Corn seed from Gurney's

Since its founding in 1866 Gurney's Seed Company has offered gardeners the highest quality sweet corn seed for their farms and home gardens. Every year we meet with corn breeders in their trial plantings across the country. We are always looking out for outstanding new varieties while also offering many tried and true varieties our customers have grown to love.

Prior to offering any variety, they are grown at our research farm and home vegetable gardens before we give them the stamp of approval. To ensure our customers corn gets off to a great start, we treat our seeds with a fungicide to give them a better chance to germinate and grow in cool wet soil.

Choosing the right corn seed

The type of corn, days to maturity, length of growing season and use after harvest are a few details to consider before purchasing corn seed. We can help guide you through the process of buying sweet corn.

What type of sweet corn should I grow?

  • Normal or High Sugar (su): Hearty corn flavor, firm with creamy texture. Sugars convert to starch quickly. Best eaten soon after harvest.

  • Sugary-enhanced (se): Superior tenderness, creamy texture with good corn flavor. Sweeter than se varieties.

  • Super-sweet (sh2): Extra sweet, crisp texture. Holds sweetness for over a week.

  • Synergistic (sy): Combines best of se and sh2. Very high sugars, tender and slow conversions of sugars to starch.

Which corn is good for my area?

When growing sweet corn, pay close attention to days to maturity. If you have a short growing season you may not be able to grow some of the long maturing varieties like Silver Queen. Days to maturity can be found at the end of the variety description.

How are you using your harvest?

Most sweet corn varieties can be frozen or canned, however some are better suited than others. Please check variety description for guidance.

If you are growing corn to eat the day of harvest, normal sugar (su) and sugary enhanced varieties (se)are great. If high sugars and longer storage in the refrigerator is desired, super sweets (sh2) and Synergistic (sy) varieties work best.

What should I consider when growing several different varieties:

Depending on what type of corn you are growing, avoid cross pollination by isolating different types or stagger plantings making sure days to maturity are two weeks apart.

Corn Seed: Getting the most out of your corn seed.

Planting Corn Seed:

When starting corn, planting time, soil temperature, planting depth, and moisture are critical factors to consider before planting corn seed. Attention to these details will get your corn crop off to a great start.

How to plant corn seed:

Plant seeds ¾-1" deep early in the season and 1-2" deep later in the season when it is warmer and dryer.

When to plant corn seed:

Gurney's corn seed can be planted when the soil warms to 60-65degrees. If planted too early, in cold wet soil, seed germination will be poor.

Where to plant corn seed:

Corn performs best if grown in full sun. Plant in freshly worked, well-drained soil. Allow enough space to plant corn in 3-4 short rows instead of one long row. The pollen from the tassels will pollinate the ears much better when planted this way.

How to Grow and Care for Corn Plants

After corn germinates attention should then focus on weeding, watering and pest control, yield and quality will be much better.

Should I water and weed Corn.

To maintain strong growth, corn should receive an inch of water per week. Water if rain is not adequate.

Weeds compete for moisture and nutrients. Keep them under control through hand weeding, hoeing or mulching. Mulch will also help maintain soil moisture.

When do I fertilize corn?

We recommend fertilizing corn with Gurney's Sweet corn Food when it is 5-6 inches tall and again just as tassels emerge from the stalk. Spread the fertilizer in a narrow band along each side of the corn and lightly hoe in.

What corn pest are a problem for corn:

Corn earworms are one of the main insect pests and can be controlled by spraying Green Step II Caterpillar Control on the corn silk. European corn borers can also be controlled by with timely sprays of Green Step II.

When should I harvest corn:

Harvest ears of corn when silk is browning and drying. This is usually 18-25 days after silk first appears. The kernels should be full and milky when squeezed. Refrigerate as soon as possible.

To learn more about corn, read the Beginner's Guide to Maize from the experts at Gurney's!

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