Growing Silver King Corn (se) Garden Seeds
- Taxonomy: Zea mays
- Days to Maturity: 80-90 days
- Days to Germination: 7-14
- Hardiness Zone: Annual 3-10
- Planting Depth: 1-2"
- Plant Spacing: 12"
- Row Spacing: 12"
- Growth Habit: Upright stalk
- Soil Preference: Loose, loamy, organic, well-drained
- Temp Preference: Warmer, 75-90 °F
- Light Preference: Full Sun
- Diseases/Pests: No serious pests but watch for corn leaf aphids, flea beetles, and thrips. Water soil directly to avoid saturating stalks.
- Color: 100% all-white sweet kernels
Seeds Per Package:
- 20 g - Approximately 100 Seeds
- 4 oz - Approximately 600 Seeds
- 1 lb - Approximately 2,400 Seeds
- 5 lb - Approximately 12,000 Seeds
- 25 lb - Approximately 60,000 Seeds
How to Grow Silver King Corn from Seed
Corn is a hardy full sun grass performing best when sown directly outdoors after the final spring frost. Plant 2-3 seeds 1-2” deep and 3-4” apart in loose, organically rich, well-drained soil with a pH of 5.8-6.2. Germinates in 7-14 days, thinning out best starts to every 12” once true leaves establish. Avoid overhead watering by watering soil directly. To prevent cross-pollination from altering a corn crop, keep like varieties with like varieties (SU with SU, SE with SE, SH2 with SH2, and ORNAMENTAL with ORNAMENTAL). Check individual seed packet to know whether a variety is Sugary (SU), Sugary Enhanced (SE), Supersweet (SH2), or Ornamental.
Most varieties of corn are ready to harvest about 75 days from sowing. Unlike other garden favorites, corn only fruits once. Ears are ripe once they turn dark green, silks become brown, and kernels are plump. Test ripeness by squeezing kernels for a milk-like juice. To harvest, firmly pull the ear downwards while twisting.
About Silver King Hybrid Corn Seeds
- Also known as "Wisconsin #7"
- Historically, J. A. Beagley of Sibly, IL is credited for originating Silver King in 1890.
- Further developed by the Wisconsin Experiment Station.
- Offered to the open seed market by the L.L. Olds Seed Company in 1907. Although John A. Salzer Seed Co. makes the same claim about Silver King.
- In 1907 at the experiment station Silver King was recorded to produce 98 bushels per acre. A real record at the time using organic fertilizers.
- Ears average 8-9 inches. Very uniform and "always full to the tip". Compact straight rows.
- A strong grower especially adapted to resist cold weather.
- Was historically grown in Iowa, Wisconsin, Minnesota, South Dakota, Illinois, Indiana and Ohio.
As described by LL Olds in 1910... "In appearance the corn is a beauty. Ears just the right length, averaging 8 to 9 inches, always filled out clear the tips, and very uniform in size and type. The corn is pure snow-white in color with good length kernels set compactly in straight rows. The corn is a strong grower, early enough to mature as far north as Oshkosh, WI and is especially adapted to resist cold weather. It has a decided double ear characteristic, one reason for its fine yield records."
About Sugary Enhanced Sweet Corn (se)
- 16-18% sugar content
- Medium productivity and harvest
- Best if enjoyed within 3-5 days
- Do not plant near (su), (sh2), (syn), and (orn)
Most commercial and store-bought ears of corn are likely a type of sugary enhanced (se) because they boast a higher 16-18% sugar content which is directly responsible for their longer shelf life. While sugary enhanced (se) types still convert their sugars to bitter starch, the process takes several days longer than normal sugary (su) varieties simply because there is more sugar to convert. Sugary enhanced (se) corn is the resulting hybrid from preferred (su) and (se) types and sometimes is designated with a (se+) if both parents are sugary enhanced. Like most varieties of corn, sugary enhanced (se) generally is ready to harvest in about 90 days and can be started as late as 90 days from the first frost.
Check out this article about the evolution of corn.