Why aren’t my corncobs thoroughly filled out?
Spotty filling of corncobs is due to poor pollination. This usually happens when corn is planted in a solitary row rather than in blocks. Corn pollen must land on each thread of silk for complete pollination. Each strand of silk is attached to a single kernel. Corn breeders constantly strive to develop varieties with good tipfill, an industry buzzword for large, rounded, full cobs. Some of the older varieties don’t have great tipfill, while many of the new hybrids have excellent tipfill.
When is corn ready to harvest? Can it tolerate any frost?
Corn is ready to harvest when the silks are brown and have dried up and you can feel the cobs through the husks. The tip of the cob should be blunt and feel full. The appearance and feel of the finished cobs differ with the variety. It takes a bit of experience to know exactly when the cobs are at their prime, but with time you’ll learn.
Corn will be badly damaged by even a light frost. If frost strikes once the cobs have matured, you have about one week to harvest them before the flavour starts to deteriorate significantly. If frost strikes before the cobs have matured, the corn will not ripen.