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July Plant of the Month: Sweet Corn

By Jennifer McDonald, Mobile County Master Gardener

There are few summer treats more delicious than a salty, buttery ear of fresh-picked sweet corn. The three main types of sweet corn are regular (such as Silver Queen), sugar-enhanced (such as Silver King or Honey Select), and supersweet (such as Coastal or Everglades). Corn should be planted in blocks of at least four rows to allow optimal pollination. Plant regular and sugar-enhanced varieties at least 300 feet away from supersweet corn to avoid cross-pollination. If space doesn’t allow for that, plantings should be staggered so the varieties don’t mature at the same time. Supersweet corn maintains its sweetness the longest after harvest. In order to maintain the sweetness of other varieties, cool corn immediately after harvesting by placing it in an ice bath and then storing in the refrigerator. Sweet corn is at its absolute best when briefly cooked just after harvest.

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