Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Best Varieties of Sweet Corn to Grow in the North

Image: Jonathunder

Corn is a staple in many northern gardens across the U.S. Not only is it versatile, it comes in many different varieties ranging from super sweet to the kind that you pop. For gardeners in the north, the best varieties of corn to grow take 70 days or less to mature.

Types of Corn

When leafing through the seed catalog, you’ll come across abbreviations in the corn descriptions. I have listed each abbreviation, what it stands for and what it means. Abbreviations are included  in each description of corn I have listed as well.

(se) - Sugary-Enhanced Hybrids: Contains high levels of sugar between 14-35% depending on the variety. Known for its creamy texture, taste and tenderness.

(su) - Normal or High Sugar Hybrids: Contains 9-16% sugar depending on the variety. Known for its full flavor and firm, creamy texture.

(sh2) Super Sweet Hybrids: Contains very high sugar levels between 28-44% depending on the variety. Known for its super-sweet flavor and crisp texture.

Synergistic: A cross between (se) and (sh2) varieties containing 75% (se) kernels and 25% (sh2) kernels. Known for its tenderness and sweet flavor.

  • Varieties of corn come in 3 colors: yellow, white and bicolor. To simplify this post, I have listed varieties by color. 

Varieties of Corn

Yellow Varieties of Corn

Early Sunglow Hybrid (se): Early variety. Ears grow 6-7” with meaty kernels on short stalks. 62 days.

Legend Hybrid (se): Early variety. Ears grow 7-9” with plump, creamy-sweet kernels. Disease resistant and cold hardy making it a great choice for the north. 65 days.

Spring Treat (se): Yellow sweet variety. Easy harvesting. 66 days.

Precocious Hybrid (se): Early variety. Grows full-tipped ears on 5’ stalks. Sweet to taste. Adapts well. 66 days.

Northern Xtra-Sweet (sh2): Early, tender variety. A northern favorite because it germinates well in cold soils. Large ears are sweet in flavor. Comes in yellow, white and bicolor varieties. 67 days.

Sugar Buns (se): Kernels are deep and narrow. Variety holds up well in the garden. 70 days.

Bicolor Varieties of Corn

Native Gem Hybrid (se): Early variety. Ears grow an average of 8” with full rows of kernels. Very sweet. 66 days.

Trinity (se): Very sweet variety with crisp, fine kernels and narrow ears. Does well when planted in cool weather making it great for the north. 68 days.

Quickie (se): Tender, sweet variety. Ears average 7". Does well in cold soil making it great for the north. 68 days.

Pay Dirt (synergistic): Very sweet variety with tender kernels. Ears grow 7.5-8" long. Tolerates rust. 69 days.

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