Glass gem corn must be one of the most beautiful corns I have ever grown, every cob has its own unique color combination, and they are very easy to grow.
Something you should know, young corn will not show colour, it only appears later when they are fully grown, the same goes for Strawberry popcorn.
Strawberry popcorn on the other hand are just as beautiful but much smaller and looks just like a strawberry. The question most people ask me does it also taste like a strawberry, no it doesn't, but let me tell you, it is the best tasting popcorn I ever had so far. Its so soft and creamy, the shell around the outside that lands up being inside dissolves, so it literary just melts in your mouth.
The exception to this rule is ‘On Deck’ corn, which has been bred to grow in containers. If you are growing ‘On Deck’, choose a container that is at least 24 inches wide and deep and plant nine seeds evenly spaced.
How to Grow
- Keep weeds under control during the growing season. Weeds compete with plants for water, space and nutrients, so control them by either cultivating often or use a mulch to prevent their seeds from germinating.
- Keep plants well watered during dry periods to promote uninterrupted growth. Corn needs 1-2 inches of rain per week for best production. Use a rain gauge to check to see if you need to add water. Corn is also a heavy feeder and will benefit from side dressings of fertilizer applied as directed through the growing season.
- Monitor for pests and diseases. Check with your local Cooperative Extension Service for pest controls recommended for your area.
- Suckers tend to form at the base of the plants; they help support the stalks and make food for the plant. The stalks may have to be staked in windy areas, but in general they are self-supporting.
- Sunflowers are good companion plant for corn. Direct sow sunflowers in rows parallel to corn rows to help separate corn varieties that need isolation from each other. Choose sunflower varieties of comparable height to the corn plantings. The sunflower border, with vibrant hues in russets to golden-yellow, will add sparkle next to the almost all-green corn plot. The ‘Three Sisters’ (corn, bean and squash) are traditional companion plantings with Native American gardeners.
Harvest and Preserving Tips
- Ears of corn are ready to harvest about 17-20 days after the silks appear. The kernels should be firm. Open an ear and pierce a kernel with your fingernail. If the liquid is watery, the corn is not ripe yet. It should be milky. If it is creamy, it is overripe and will not taste as sweet.
- Firmly grip the ear and twist downward to harvest. Take care not to break the plant when harvesting the first ear, or the second ear will not develop. Most corn produces two ears.
- Store unhusked corn in the fridge and consume as soon as possible.
- Corn freezes well after blanching and may also be canned using a pressure cooker. Immature ears may be pickled.
- To make seeds for popcorn make sure they dry on the cob. Then harvest them, by rubbing two cobs together or chipping them off with you fingers.
- Always store your seeds in a sealed container or bag. If you see any moth holes place them in the freezer overnight. That should kill them.
- Important! Always save the best cob for next season.