When is Sweet Corn Ready to Harvest?

March 27, 2024 | By Rupp Seeds

A bi-color SH2 sweet corn opened to expose the kernels at peak maturity

Are you SURE your sweet corn is ready to harvest?

Pictured is an example of a SH2 sweet corn that is 5 days early, at peak maturity, and 5 days late (same variety in each picture). 

When it is time to harvest your sweet corn, not only open a few ears and visually inspect them, but also squeeze the ear's tip (while in the husk) and also taste the ear.

Sweet corn at PEAK maturity will have a nice snap when bitten, followed by a sugary corn flavor. Its tip and kernels will look and feel full but not bulging. In bi-color corn, the contrast between the white and yellow kernels will be definite.

In the ear pictured on top (EARLY), you’ll notice the extra space around the kernels - proof that they can still fill out. This sweet corn ear will have a slight earthy, green taste with less sugar content. In bi-color corn, the color contrast between white and yellow will be less noticeable, almost pale.
The bottom picture (LATE) shows kernels that are overly plump and the tip of the ear appears overcrowded. This ear will have a starchy, less sweet taste when sampled and in a bi-color variety the color contrast will be darker and more pronounced.

List of Rupp sweet corn varieties

Our FREE sweet corn growing guide