Exhibition tips for Growing Sweet Corn
Because of the nature of the English climate, with its cool, wet summers, early shows are not suitable for exhibiting this crop. Although botanically a fruit, it is always classified as a vegetable for show purposes. Six cobs is the usual number asked for in collections, and three for single dishes.
Select cobs which have full rows of kernels from the bottom to the top; irregular rows of grain or badly set grain will be considered defective. It is difficult to judge the quality of the grain, as it is concealed beneath the husk, so take more than you need to show the bench to have replacements should you need them. The cobs shown should be as uniform as possible, with a similar length and girth, and the kernels uniformly coloured.
At the show bench, remove the husks and make sure that no more than 2.5 cm (1”) of shank is left on the cob; leave the silks intact. Corn looks best when displayed upright, tied with green twine into bundles, much like asparagus spears.
Never show cobs which have not been freshly picked, or those which are tapered instead of cylindrical in shape.
Varieties of Sweet Corn
First of All (F1 hybrid): very early to mature; high quality cobs for kitchen or exhibition; cobs large and sweet; grows lm (3i) high.
John Fines Hybrid (F1 hybrid): second early variety; vigorous but compact growth