According to the University of Illinois Extension, sweet corn is best suited for home gardeners as it is easily grown if it has enough space, sun and growing season. Sweet corn is divided by genotype: normal sugary (SU), supersweet (Sh2), and sugary enhancer (SE). SU varieties are best picked and eaten within a short time so they are less practical for most gardeners. Sh2 varieties have higher sugar contents, but are often tougher in texture. SE varieties are the best choice for home gardeners as "the taste, tenderness and texture are outstanding." The quality is far superior to the other varieties and fortunately comes in a variety of seeds categorized by season length.
Early season varieties mature between 62 to 80 days. Seed options include Sugar Buns, Bodacious and Maple Sweet. Sugar Buns is characterized by 5 foot plants that produce 7 inch ears. Bodacious reaches up to 7 feet tall with 8 inch ears and is known to have a quality good enough for both eating fresh and freezing. Maple Sweet is distinguished by its maple candy flavor and petite 6 to 8 inch ears.
Main season varieties mature between 73 to 83 days. Seed options include Incredible and Miracle. Incredible varieties are defined by dark green husks, growth to 8 feet and a 9 inch ear. Miracle varieties reach 6 feet high, produce 9 inch ears and holds on to its sweetness longer than most other varieties.
Late season varieties mature over more than 83 days. Seed types include Tendertreat and Kandy Korn. Tendertreat varieties are planted 16 to 18 per row and are characterized by 9 foot purple stalks. Tendertreat is known to hold its sweetness for 2 weeks after maturing. Kandy Korn, a golden yellow corn with 8 inch ears, can be identified by its red-striped husks. Kandy Korn grows to be about 7 feet tall.
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