Country Gentleman Corn
Seed Count: Approx. 25 seeds
Days to Maturity: 88-92 days
Description: Country Gentleman is an heirloom, home garden variety grown for fresh eating or canning, and one of the finest corns for roasting. This standard, late-season white corn has narrow irregular shaped “shoe peg” (non-rowed) kernels. The tapered 7-8 inch ears grow on 7-8 ft. stalks that often produce 2-3 ears. This historic variety was introduced in 1890 by S. D. Woodruff & Sons of Orange, Connecticut. Country Gentleman corn is the most well known variety of shoe peg corn. Shoe peg corn is named for the similarity of its kernels to wooden pegs used in shoe making, shoe peg corn is characterized by small, irregular white kernels of unsurpassed tenderness and sweetness.
How To Grow
Sowing: One week, after frost, or when the soil consistently reaches 60 degrees F (corn will not germinate if soil temps are less than 55 degrees), plant the corn 1" deep and 8-12" apart. Plant blocks of four short rows (or in squares, if you are in a small space. I plant 4 corn stalks per sq. ft.) to ensure good pollination. Long skinny rows will result in poor pollination. Germination can take 5-6 days. Companion plant corn with, peas, cucumbers, squash, or pole beans; plants that like shade, like lettuce, also grows well with corn. However, avoid planting tomatoes near corn, since they share similar pests, and compete for vertical space and nutrients. Corn can also be grown in containers that are at least 12 inches deep and wide (4 plants can grow in a container this size).
Growing: Corn requires large quantities of both water and fertilizer to produce full healthy ears. Give corn 1 1/2 inches of water per week, and make sure to remove weeds so they do not compete for water and nutrients. To increase chances of proper pollination, hand pollinate by shaking the plants several times a day, to make sure the pollen reaches corn silks. To reduce problems with army worms, and corn ear worms, the organic compound Spinosad can be used on corn tassels and new growth once a week. This corn gets to about 5-6 feet tall.
Harvesting: Harvest corn ears, and eat as sweet corn, when husks reach the appropriate size, about 7-8 inches. The silks should have turned brown, but are still moist to the touch. To check, you can slightly peel back the husk to reveal the kernels. Puncture one, if the liquid is clear, it is not ready, if it is milky, harvest your corn asap, and if there is no liquid, it has grown past its prime. This corn is great eating fresh off the stalks, grilled, boiled, or even canned and stored for later. To save seeds, leave corn on its stalks to completely dry in the field. They are ready to harvest for seeds, when the stalk and the ears turn completely brown with no green coloring. However, since continued rainy weather and humidity compromises the quality of the ears, drying them inside may be the best route. Choose a dry location with moderate heat, but out of direct sunlight; hang the stalks upside down, or lay them out flat until they are dry enough seed storage.