Corn has been genetically enhanced (crossbred) to produce hybrids that are resistant to insect pests and diseases. In addition, many corn varieties have been cultivated to contain various amounts of sugar, according to the University of Illinois, or to be cold resistant or heat hardy. It is important to consider your climate, insect pests in your area and how sweet you like your corn before choosing a hybrid corn variety to grow in the home garden.
Standard corn varieties are those that were not bred to be extra-sweet. Most are hybrid, according to the University of Illinois. "Jubilee" is a variety that produces a lot of corn that is especially good for canning. This hybrid variety is ready for harvest in 82 days. "Sundance" is harvest-ready in 69 days and tolerates cold soil very well. All three of these varieties have yellow kernels. "Silver Queen" is the standard for high-quality white kernel corn and is resistant to two common diseases. It can be harvested in 92 days. "Butter & Sugar" is popularly grown in home gardens. This variety has bi-colored kernels and is ready for harvest in 75 days.
Sugary Extender corn hybrids are bred to be sweet. "Merlin" is a yellow variety that can be harvested in 84 days. This variety is highly desirable for its tolerance of diseases and for its superior flavor, according to the University of Illinois. "Sugar Buns" is another yellow variety that produces small, slender but attractive ears of corn with excellent flavor. This variety is ready for harvest in 72 days. "Pristine" can be harvested in 76 days and is a white corn with good eating qualities. "Peaches & Cream" is a popular sweet white corn variety grown in home gardens. This corn is ready for harvest in 83 days and is very hardy.
Supersweet hybrid corn varieties are engineered to be just that--very sweet. "Jubilee Supersweet", which is ready for harvest in 83 days, is excellent for home gardens, according to the University of Illinois, and "Showcase" (83 day harvest) has outstanding taste. "Excel" has an 82-day harvest period and is one of the highest yielding corn varieties. All of these are yellow corn.
White corn hybrid supersweet varieties include "Pegasus," which tolerates cold soil, and "Aspen," which is another high-quality corn for eating. Both are ready for harvest in about 83 days.