What we love about planting heirloom corn seeds
- 8 heirloom corn seed varieties
- Best if consumed right after harvest
- Thrives in bright, sunny growing areas
- Incredible home grown flavor
The Best Heirloom Corn Selection
Corn has been farmed in North America for thousands of years and it is as American as apple pie. This popular seed, together with tomatoes, has inspired more home gardens than any other vegetable. One bite into a fresh ear of heirloom corn will explain all of your questions concerning the popularity of this homegrown food.
Heirloom corn should always be grown from seed throughout a frost-free growing season. Heirloom corn is pollinated by the wind, thus it should be planted in a block of multiple rows, not just one skinny row, to ensure even pollination. Choose one cultivar (to avoid cross-pollination) and plant a minimum of 10 to 15 plants per person for fresh corn this season.
How to plant Heirloom Corn Seeds
Heirloom corn seeds should be planted two weeks after the final spring frost. Heirloom corn prefers a healthy, well-drained soil with a temperature of 60 to 65°F. Choose a planting location that receives lots of sunlight and has a good level of nitrogen and moisture in the soil. Prior to planting, the soil should be amended with aged manure or rich compost. Plant two to three seeds per hole, about one to two inches deep. Rows should be 30 to 36 inches apart and plantings should be 12 to 15 inches apart. Shorter varieties may be spaced closer together.
How to care for and harvest heirloom corn
After planting, water the soil and keep it moist throughout germination and harvest. Thin to the strongest plant if more than one sprout develops from a cluster. When the plants are between 12 and 18 inches tall, use a nitrogen-rich fertilizer. If weeds appear around plants, pick them out; if weeds become too numerous, a thick layer of mulch can be placed to the plant's base. The plant's silk should be visible and fading to a brown tint after around three weeks. Heirloom corn ears are ready to be harvested when this happens.
Tips for storing heirloom corn
Bend and twist the ear of heirloom corn downwards from the stalk to harvest it. For the greatest quality, eat or freeze right away. If you're preserving corn, don't remove the husks; it'll keep for about a week in the fridge or up to eight months in the freezer.
For more information about planting, growing, and caring for heirloom corn seed, see the Corn Seeds Planting Guide.