Botanical Name: Zea mays
Days to Maturity: 95–105 days
Plant Dimensions: 4'–6' tall
Variety Information: 5"–8" ears with 15 rows of purple-black kernels. 'Dakota Black' pops into a butterfly/snowflake shape with black centers.
Type: Flint (Learn More)
When to Sow Outside: RECOMMENDED. 1 to 2 weeks after your average last frost date, and when soil temperature is at least 60°F, ideally 65°–90°F
When to Start Inside: Not recommended; roots sensitive to transplanting. Best results occur when seedlings are transplanted less than 2 weeks old.
Days to Emerge: 5–10 days
Seed Depth: 1"–1 ½"
Seed Spacing: A group of 2 seeds every 12"
Row Spacing: 24"–36"
Thinning: When 4" tall, thin to 1 every 12"
Harvesting: Let the ears dry on the stalks. The kernels are ready for harvest when they are hard and you can no longer leave a mark on them with your fingernail. Before the first fall frost, give each ear a twist until it breaks off. Peel back the husks, then hang the ears in a cool, dark, dry place for 4 to 6 weeks to cure. This is important to prevent mold and to dry to the optimal moisture percentage for popping. (In a perfect popcorn world, that would be 13½–14%.) After that, the cobs are ready for popping or storing. To strip off cured kernels, twist the cobs back and forth to loosen them (gloves are recommended).