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Corn, Early Xtra-Sweet Hybrid
Very sweet and very early.
Supersweet Hybrid (Sh2) corns can be twice as sweet as others and stay sweet for days if chilled promptly. For best taste, isolate from non-Sh kinds to stop cross-pollination. An All-America Selections winner, Early Xtra-Sweet is 2 weeks earlier than Illini Xtra Sweet. Its 9" ears have 12-16 rows of golden kernels. Height 6 ft. Ready to harvest in 71 days. GARDEN HINTS: Plant corn in blocks, at least four rows wide, for cross-pollination and well-filled ears. Grows best in full sun (at least 6 hours of direct sun per day). Cultivate carefully to avoid damaging surface roots.
Growing corn is extremely easy provided you have enough space. Corn is wind-pollinated. 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 2' deep, 5 to 6 inches apart in rows 2 to 3 feet apart. Seedlings emerge in 7-14 days.
How to Grow
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.
The ears are ready to harvest about 17-18 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. Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks; snappy, crisp texture and ultra-sweet flavor will last 4-6 days in the refrigerator. Super-sweet corn can be up to 4 times as sweet as other types of sweet corn. They do not need to be cooked or amended in any way to taste as delicious as standard corn smothered in butter and salt.