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Corn, Country Gentleman
HEIRLOOM. From 1890, this unusual white corn has irregular rows and great flavor.
Country Gentleman is one of the most unusual sweet corns around because its white kernels are arranged irregularly, not in rows. The kernels are also very deep and narrow, hence its alternate name, Shoe-peg. Developed around 1890 in the Connecticut River Valley, it is a much bigger form of a very old variety. In fertile soils, it can yield three ears per stalk, sometimes more. It is a beautiful corn with wonderful texture and flavor. It holds its peak quality much longer than most heirloom corns.
Growing corn is extremely easy provided you have enough space. Corn is wind-pollinated and SE varieties do not need isolation. Set up more than one row to ensure pollination- a minimum 10-foot by 10-foot area. Isolate varieties when recommended (Sh2's), by planting corn seeds at least 250 feet apart, or select varieties that mature at least 2 weeks apart. Sow corn seed 1" deep, 5 to 6 inches apart in rows 2 to 3 feet apart. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
How to Grow Corn
When corn seedlings are 3-5" tall and healthy, thin to 1-foot apart. Give plants 1-2" of water every week. Suckers tend to form at the base of the plants; they help support the stalks and make food for the plant. The stalks may have to be staked in windy areas, but in general they are self-supporting.
Ears of corn are ready to harvest about 17-20 days after the silks appear. The corn kernels should be firm and milky when cut open. Firmly grip the ear and twist downward to harvest. Take care not to break the plant as harvesting the first ear or the second ear (when present) will not develop.