When I was little and we planted the garden I decided it was my job to make the scarecrow to protect the sweetcorn! It was a fun time when I got to be creative and use old clothes and stuff them with old hay or straw. We would attach the scarecrow to a stake and make it so that its arms were stretched out to the sides in an effort to keep varmints, mainly crows, from getting a free meal.
This scarecrow usually didn’t last more than a few months and didn’t really work like I was hoping it would but I sure had fun making it! This year at the Harvey County Home and Garden show this weekend kids are invited to come and build a mini-scarecrow to take home. This activity will be held at the Armory in Newton at 2:00 PM both days of the show! Kids 12 and under are admitted free, adults are one dollar unless you have the free coupon from the Kansan newspaper.
Ears of sweet corn are a popular addition to summer meals. The flavor and quality of freshly picked sweet corn is outstanding. Sweet corn does not adapt well to small garden areas because closely spaced plants will produce only 1-2 ears.
New hybrid varieties of sweet corn are available. The colors range from yellow to white to bicolor, yellow and white kernels together on the same ear. Early varieties that require 65-75 days to mature produce smaller stalks and ears, while later varieties requiring 75 days or longer produce larger plants and larger ears. New varieties are available with resistance to several common diseases such as maize dwarf mosaic, smut, and bacterial wilt. Sweet corn differs from field corn by a single genetic factor called the “sugary” or Su gene.
Several new varieties that have higher levels of sugar have been developed.
Common yellow varieties include Gold Cup, Merit, Miracle, Bodacious, Incredible, Jubilee, Sweetie, Sugar Loaf, Sweet Time, and Kandy Korn. White varieties include Quick Silver, Silver Streak, Sterling Silver, and Silver Queen. Bicolor varieties include Sweet Sal, Carnival, Calico Belle, and Candy Store.
Plants should be 8-12 inches apart in rows at least 3 feet apart. Do not crowd plantings, as weak, spindly, unproductive plants will result. Plant the kernels an inch deep. If many seeds fail to germinate, do not attempt to replace missing plants; replant the entire planting. It is a good idea to wait until we get past spring into warmer temperatures as corn does not germinate well in cold soil.