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In the Garden - Sweet Corn

Written By: Bob and Linda Larson  |  Posted: Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

            In this issue, I would like to give some background on sweet corn.  Unless you have successfully staggered the planting of your sweet corn, the days of fresh corn on the cob are at an end.  I have gathered some background information on sweet corn for you to think about when you purchase seeds for next year.

            Sweet corn is a variety of maize with a high sugar content.  It is the result of a natural recessive mutation in the genes which control conversion of sugar to starch inside the corn kernel.  Open pollinated or non-hybrid varieties of white sweet corn started to become widely available in the United States in the 19th century.  The early or su varieties needed to be cooked within 30 minutes of harvest to retain their sweet flavor.  One such variety called Golden Bantam is still popular today and sold as an heirloom seed.  The sugar content of early varieties contain about 5 - 10% sugar by weight.

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