Corn and popcorn are warm weather crops. The seeds will germinate more consistently if the soil temperature stays above 65ºF. To get a jump on the season, Larry plants his corn and popcorn inside in flats on May 1st. By the end of the month they are ready to plant outside. To get a staggered corn harvest, at the end of May, he will also directly seed into the garden another 32 seeds of corn. In another 3 weeks he will direct seed again. Since he uses an early maturing variety, Ambrosia, he can get three harvests over a two month period.
Plant corn in a good rich soil. They should be planted in rows at least 4 ft wide and 4 ft long for good pollination. Harvest sweet corn when the silk turns brown and you can feel well formed kernels under the husks.
Popcorn is another story. This is a long season crop. It needs all the summer it can get. Since Larry starts all his popcorn inside, he plants only once. The seedlings are moved out into the garden at the end of May. Remember to leave popcorn on the stalk until the outer husks have turned brown. This is usually the second or third week in September. Bring inside, husks and all and dry for another two to three weeks. Then remove the dried kernels from the cob, store in airtight jars and enjoy through the winter.
Sweet corn ready to harvest
Popcorn husks are brown and now ready to harvest (left), after drying on the cob, for two weeks in the house, popcorn is ready to be removed from the cob and stored in an air tight jar.