Re: [gardeners] Another corn newbie question

Sam Girouard (
Mon, 17 Aug 1998 14:03:44 -0700

Hi Alice,

When the ears are ripe, they will feel really solid to a squeeze like
there was only a thin covering of leafy material over a hard cob. Before
they are ready, squeezing feels softer, like there is more leaf
structure and less cob. Even the fully formed but not quite ripe ears
will not feel 'burstingly' tight and firm.
Hope this helps,

Seyfried,Alice wrote:
> Well, a big THANKS! goes out to all who helped me in my indecision about
> whether or not to hand pollinate my corn.  I have a 4 row X 10 plant
> plot (I have no idea what variety it is - bad memory, sorry) and a
> couple months ago wasn't sure if it was big enough or not. Well, Kay
> told me I should hand pollinate by taking some of the tassles and
> brushing them around. Others told me they just shake the stalks a bit.
> Well, I had originally decided to just shake the stalks and see what
> happened. Then I remembered that I had promised my 4 year old that we'd
> have corn this year, so I decided to go with Kay's advice. (Kay, you
> disappeared shortly after that conversation. I hope it wasn't anything I
> said).  Almost all of the stalks (except a few on the edges that were
> more shaded) now have 1 or 2 pretty big ears on them.  My question is,
> how do I tell when they're ready to pick?  I have a feeling it's really
> bad to peak inside the silks, so I haven't done that.
> Thanks!
> Alice in London, Ohio (zone 5b)