Growing Corn in Your Home Garden – Sweet, Sweeter and the Sweetest

Sweet corn is a common crop that is grown by many home gardeners for it's tasty kernels. Commonly know for it's yellow color ears, it is also available in white and bi-colored ears as well. It is an easy crop to grow, and with a little care there can be a very rewarding harvest.

Sweet corn is a crop that can be classified into three groups, normal sugary or standard, sugar enhanced, and supersweet. All three groups have there own unique characteristics and qualities, along with growing conditions.

Normal sugary, is the traditional flavor of corn and can be either a hybrid or open-pollinated. The normal sweet corn cultivars that have been grown for years contain the sugary "su" gene that produces an average amount of sugar and is responsible for the kernels sweetness and creamy texture. The only downside to this cultivar of corn is that it's sugar changes over to starch fairly quickly, leaving them best suited to be picked and either processed or ateen in a short period of time after harvested.

Sugar enhanced varieties of corn are sweeter than the normal sugary variety, and contain a sugar enhancing gene "se" that raises the sugar content significantly while still retaining the tenderness and the creamy texture of the normal varieties. The SE varieties are the home gardeners gourmet corn of choice due to there noticeable outstanding taste, tenderness and texture. If you decide to plant this variety of corn along with the normal sugary varieties, there is no isolation necessary between these two crops.

Supersweet corn varieties are a little more of a challenge to grow for the home gardener. They are a crop that cross-pollination is a concern and should be isolated from any other corn type. The kernels of this extra sweet variety have a crispy, tough skin texture, not the creamy texture of the other varieties. This texture is not really noticeable if the corn on the cob is eaten fresh, but does affect the quality of frozen or canned corn. Without your corn needs to be stored, shipped or harvested by mechanical methods, this is not really the best choice for the home gardener.

Growing fresh corn in your home garden can be a very rewarding experience. Organic methods of gardening can produce a stimulating crop without the use of toxic chemicals, and there is no better tasting corn than ones picked fresh from the garden.