4 Ways to Preserve Sweet Corn – For Eating or Planting

Do you know the ways to preserve corn? Every ear of corn is used in some form or fashion whether for eating or for planting. All the husk and hair goes into compost pile as do the stalks. I say waste not, want not.

Keep newly picked sweet corn fresh by keeping ears cool. Picking early in the morning is the best, but I still pick at night as well. Husk and place the ears in an ice bath, adding 2 drops of liquid bleach per gallon of water, cooling ears to 37F.

The two best ways to preserve corn long term are to freeze or can the corn. In canning corn, simply shuck the corn and shave off the cob with a flat bottom of the cob on the table while running a knife down the cob. Then, follow canning instructions on cooking the corn and then processing in jars.

To freeze corn, you could simply place your corn in freezer bags but they will get a little mushy unless you blanch them first. And yes, I know that from first hand experience. Blanch them in hot boiling water for a few minutes, then cool them off in a cold water bath. After cooling, then cut to desired lengths or leave whole and place them in freezer bags.

If you have grown heirloom corn and some of the cobs really aren’t worth saving or if they have already started the drying process, let them continue drying until separated rows form. After the cobs have dried, give them the indian rub and the kernels will fall off. Put the kernels in a brown paper sack or some type of paper envelope. Label and store in a cool dry place until next season.

I save a ton of money by seed saving my corn. Those of you who plant corn know just exactly how much corn costs. On average, each cob gives about 300 kernels. If you have a small garden, you might only need one cob. I on the other hand need about 20 ears as my corn is planted in 15 rows, 300 feet long.

Check out Organic Home and Gardening, there is a propagation and seed saving eBook that can teach you how to save a great deal of money by not having to buy seeds or plants.

Happy Gardening!! Subscribe to my blog and I will keep you informed with all the good stuff.

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Seed Saving – How to Collect and Store Garden Seeds?

Do you want to save money by not having to buy vegetable seeds year after year? Collecting seeds from your garden and storing them for the next season is one of the most cost savings methods of gardening. The seed collection method varies with the plant variety.

Collecting and Storing Seeds of Annual Garden Plants
Plants like snapdragon, cosmos, cleome, petunia and amaranth are the best examples for collecting seeds. But you need to be careful as their seeds drop. Given below is the systematic procedure for collecting and storing seeds of annual plants.

Once you observe the seed pod, allow them to turn brown and die and then remove them from the plant. Place the pods on a tray with newspaper or wax paper. Wax paper is generally used to find those small seeds once they are evicted from the pods. Allow the pods to dry completely in cool place. After the pods have dried completely, gently shake them on to the paper causing the seeds to be released from the pod. Remove all the foliage and husk. Collect all the seeds and store them in an envelope. Do not store them in anything plastic as plastic will make them sweat and germinate preemptively. Be sure to label and date the seed envelops for the season you will be using them for and keep them in a cool dry place for next season.

Collecting and Storing Seeds from Perennial Garden Plants
Collecting seeds from perennial garden plants is easy. You can collect seeds from pods or from their fruits. Seeds of perennials in pods are ready to collect only when the pod bursts open. There are chances that the seed might drop and germinate. Hence you need to pick the pods before they open and allow them to dry. But make sure that pick mature pods as early picking will result in immature seeds.

You can even collect seeds from the fruit trees by simply taking seeds from the ripe fruit and allowing them to dry. After the seeds have dried completely, they are ready for storing or germinating for the next season. Don’t collect seeds from the fruits you bought as they won’t produce the same kind of fruit as most of them are grafted. Just like with any seed, you can store your dried seeds in a paper envelope, with a label and date, and putting them in a dry place for the next season.

Generally the shelf life of seeds is for a few seasons and is better to germinate your hand picked seeds in the following season. For best results, seed save every year and discard leftovers from the previous year as germination rates start to decline after the first year.

For more great information on seed saving and propagation, go to Organic Home and Garden.

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Happy Gardening from the Master Gardener Girl!!