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I have grown sweetcorn for the first time this year - quite successfully.  When harvesting should I take all the cobs off or can they be left on until needed?


With sweet corn, when you harvest it, the sugars start to turn to starch and you lose the sweetness. The best way to deal with it is put a pan of water on to boil, then pick the sweetcorn and boil immediately.  If you are going to blanch and freeze, then pick all at once. If you want the sweetest possible , then pick and eat when needed.

I cook mine in the microwave. Only pick the ones you are going to eat immediately.

Do the cobs deteriorate if left on the plant too long? Was just wondering if it would be better to freeze them rather than leave on the plant. 


Yes, they'll begin to get tough if left on the plant too long.  Either freeze them whole or slice the kernels off, blanch and freeze in bags as you would freeze peas.



Yes, they go deep yellow and tough. Keep an eye on them and freeze them. Mine crop for a week or two at the stage I like them, depending on how hot the weather is. But I live in Dordogne so they may toughen up quicker than in the UK.


Thanks everone for your help

Rats have had a lot of mine at the allotment this year. My fault - I was warned and I didn't protect the plants with netting as advised. Learn by mistakes but what a waste

hollie hock

Do people think it's best to collect them when the furry bits are yellow/brown? I've grown this year for the first time and the plants haven't done so well. When I've had a sneaky peek the individual corns look very small but the tassles are now brown,

I'm not convinced that the plants are going to do anything more.



The way to test if they are ready is to peel back the top just a little and slit one of the kernels with your finger nail -if the liquid which comes out is milky they are ready but if the liquid is clear leave another day or two then test again. 

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