Preparing Corn Seed

Overview

Saving corn seeds to start next year's crop is a smart decision, as it saves money as long as you prepare the seed correctly. This process starts as soon as you harvest the last crop from the field, and consists of simple materials and some time. It is important to do this process correctly to ensure your success with the next crop.

Step 1

Harvest corn as usual, but leave the ones you want to harvest seed from in the field for six weeks after your final corn harvest. When you harvest the corn for seed, the husks should be brown. The amount you leave in the field depends on how much you want to plant.

Step 2

Harvest the corn and pull back the husks. Store the ears in a dry, cool area in a bucket. Keep the ears there for about two months, or until the ears have completely dried out.

Step 3

Over the bucket, twist the ears so that the dry kernels all fall off into the bucket. Pick out any debris such as silks or dead kernels. Store all golden, healthy kernels in a paper bag.

Step 4

Keep the paper bag full of kernels in the refrigerator until the spring season. Pour the seeds into a bowl the day before you are going to plant them.

Step 5

Fill the bowl with warm water until the seeds are an inch underneath the water. Soak the seeds until morning.

Step 6

Drain the water from the corn seeds with a colander and lay the seeds out on a paper towel to dry. After they are dried out, it is time to plant them.

Things You'll Need

  • Ears of non-hybrid, open-pollinated corn
  • Bucket
  • Paper bag
  • Large bowl
  • Colander
  • Paper towel

References

  • International Seed Saving Institute: Corn
  • Weekend Gardener: How to Save Corn Seed
  • Rain.org: Presoaking Your Seeds
Keywords: planting corn, preparing corn seeds, corn seed preparation

About this Author

Lauren Wise has more than eight years' experience as a writer, editor, copywriter and columnist. She specializes in food, wine, music and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in various magazines, including "Runway," "A2Z," "Scottsdale Luxury Living" and "True West." Wise holds a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Arizona State University.