Mixing Sweet Corn Varieties

Helena, MT

I raise at least four sixty foot rows of sweet corn each season and have had good luck with SPRING TREAT F1 until a year ago when I purchase a half pound of seed which had less than a forty percent germination rate. Although I reseeded four times that year my crop was less than desirable. I decided not to purchase seed from that company again because I had even worse problems with their beans.

I am limited to short cool season corn varieties and although I like this yearís selection it didnít measure up to the Spring Treat which everyone else seems to like. I would risk going back to order one package of the Spring Treat just to pacify family, however I would prefer to try some different types of sweet corn as well.

My concern is that the packaging for hybrids like Spring Treat recommend keeping some distance from other varieties of sweet corn. Since short season su and/or se corn hybrids are basically the only choices I have, is it really that necessary to maintain a certain distance between varieties?????

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

Not for su or se, sh2 requires isolation from su or se. Spring treat is a yellow se. It is available from multiple vendors including Johnny;s Jungs', Fedco, Harris, Twilley etc. so you should have no problem changing seed compamies. If you would like to try a supersweet yellow X-Tra Sweet Northern is a 67 day day corn.

Hummelstown, PA(Zone 6b)

You can also isolate varieties by planting date instead of distance so that two varieties are not pollinating at the same time...but with your short growing season this might bnot be possible.

Helena, MT

Thanks Farmer, I have tried the Northern Xtra Sweet from a local seed supplier and it wasn't as good as the Spring Treat from Johnny's. I did see two other companies, Harris and Osborne that sold bulk (1,000 seeds) for under $8 which seemed like a good price. I only use around 200 seeds in four sixty foot rows planting the seeds 14-inches apart as per Farmer Dill instructions. I offer the excess seed to my neighbors who grow corn hoping they will plant the same variety. I got in trouble last year when Johnny's didn't produce very well for any of us.

Your right drobarr, even less than 70 day corn is iffy here. It seems like a waste to most people but if I get half a crop out of 200 plants I feel lucky. But with Spring Treat I've had several really good seasons with yields averaging 3 to 4 cobs per plant.

I keep telling myself to try using black plastic to warm the ground prior to planting and next season I will make a concerted effort to do just that.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

One thing to consider. Retail vendors buy thier seed in bulk from developers. Spring Treat is a middle age Mesa Maize variety. Mesa Maize was sold to Harris Moran in 2010. So all Spring Treat comes from Harris Moran. About the only way a retail vendor can mess up on germination is improper handling. So there is a high probabilty that all retail vendors would get get the same bad batch from the developer. Johnny's is usually very customer friendly, so I hope you notified them of your germination problems.
Ther have been a number of extra early sweet corn varieties release over th the past 50 years. Most of them just could not cut it. Stokes seed has the best current selection. When I lived in the Appalachian mountains I always tried at least one extra early trying to get corn in July. The most successful was Charter's 1960 Su introduction Sunglo. It is still available. I also got a lot of seeds from Robson in those days, They offered some very early varieties both in their Seneca series and some from Canada like Polar V. While mid to late Seneca varieties were good, the early varieties left a lot to be desired. Polar V was very productive but not very palatable. I still trial a few extra earlies, but I have only found two that were marginally worth growing. The white Silver Knight and the bi-color Quickie.
I have not tried any of the Stokes varieties, but they list the yellows Colorow and Welcome (67 day class) The bi-colors Temptation, Jester II, Navaho, Bon Jour, Fast Lane, Speedy Sweet, Trinity, and Fleet.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

I'll just post my only early producing sweet corn trial here, mainly so that anyone else can make a note of my results. I tried Earlivee this year and didn't much care for it. But it did start producing at 71 days just as advertised. Of course, I'm not in Canada where it was developed. So my garden conditions may not have been what it needed but I don't think I would recommend it to those of us in the South. Might work for you northerners, though.

DH loves the sweet corn so I will have to try Sunglo if I can find it. We usually have Kandy Korn and Country Gentleman with planting times spaced out so as to avoid each other's pollination times. I've kind of been looking at Incredible. Sweet corn is getting to be almost as much fun a tomatoes and eggplant and green beans for me!

Sierra Foothills, CA(Zone 8a)

What are the best open-pollinated varieties?

Helena, MT

Well Farmer gave me a well deserved scolding before when I brought up the suggestion that maybe repackaging was the reason for the failed bean and dismal corn crop from the previous season. But I have noticed that any excess corn seed I have tried to grow from a previous season has never produced well here. So each year I purchase new seed and toss any excess or unused seed. I chose a company for this years corn seed which advertised only new seed to be sold for that very reason.

And no Farmer, I did not contact Johnnys based on comments made by several people here who had a similar experience at that time and were not pleased with the responses they got back from Johnnys when they complained.

It was my paranoia about comments on the repackaging of seed which lead me to this posting about trying several different short season sweet corn varieties purchased in single packages from various vendors rather than a bulk purchase from one source. So Farmers comment on all Spring Treat coming from Harris Moran gives me some comfort again about purchasing bulk seed. However, I doubt I will ever again try that with my bean seed purchases in the future.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

I've grown Trinity. It's a decent tasting corn although my records aren't good enough to know if it really is 70 days or not.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Has anyone tried Easy Money or IOChief? Willhite's is says those two do well locally. They are also selling Trinity, so that might be another option for me next year. I'm just learning how to grow sweet corn here in Texas. Not quite as easy as growing it in Illinois, but I think once I get the varieties down and the water delivery down I might do a bit better. It's mostly all down to water in my garden...

I usually plant the early producing first, wait a week or two and plant the mid-producing, wait another week or two and plant the late producing. The lady at the farm co-op told me I can then wait another week or two and just keep planting out the late producers until August. I haven't tried that yet. But that would mean I could have lots of sweet corn to freeze. That would be cool by me.

evelyn...I really like Country Gentleman. It was always been easy for me to grow and my kids always like that one. So I just kept growing it. It is still my stand by. Not fancy like some of the new ones but it is pretty sweet, can be eaten on the cob although the kernels are not in neat rows, can be used to make creamed corn, and freezes well. Open pollinated.

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

I have grown Iochief. I t is a 1951 introduction from Iowa Agricultural Experiment station. Productive with large ears. It is a long season corn. Taste is as good as Golden Bantum Cross. Disadvantages: Ears tend to grow out the shuck attracting all kinds of critters but especially sap beetles. It also has a tougher than normal pericarp. Easy Money is a recent Crookham release, a 2nd early synergistic bicolor. Have not tried it. Willhite rarely sells anything that does not have a good performance record, so it is most likely pretty good. Silver Queen is a major upgrade in both taste and performance to the OP Stowell's Evergreen. There is a hybrid version of Country Gentleman ( We knew it as Shoepeg) called Co-gent. Primarily sold as a processing corn. Used by the canning industry for canned cream corn.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

Thanks for the prompt info, Farmerdill. By tougher than normal pericarp, do you mean that the corn kernels cook up tougher or that the corn plant itself is tougher and is more robust?

Augusta, GA(Zone 8a)

It means that I used a lot of toothpicks removing the pericarps from my teeth. I have not grown it since the early seventies. In the 50's and 60's it was as good or better than any yellow available. In that time period about the only competition was Golden Cross and Aristogold Then came Merit and Kandy Korn (se). Today you have lots of se, sh2, and synergistic supplanting the old su's.

Alba, TX(Zone 8a)

LOL! Thanks.

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