Homegrown decorative corn comes in a variety of rich colors that make an eye-catching fall decoration when dried. It looks great alongside pumpkins in a fall centerpiece or display. You can store the dried corn for use as a decoration year after year or grind the beautiful kernels into flour.
Corn to Dry
- Dakota Black makes great popcorn after dazzling a fall display with jewel-like, blackberry-colored kernels.
- Bloody Butcher is an historic, jewel-toned dent corn that has been grown in Virginia since at least 1845.
- Strawberry popcorn dresses up a fall centerpiece with petite strawberry-shaped ruby red ears.
How to Dry Corn
- Let the ears dry on the stalks. They are ready for harvest when the kernels 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, place for 4-6 weeks to cure. This is important to prevent mold.
- To strip of cured kernels, twist the cobs back and forth to loosen them (gloves are recommended).
- Take two or three ears of dried corn with husks still attached, and tie them together with twine where the ear meets the husk. Leave extra twine to tie a loop for hanging, or to tie to a doorknocker. You can also add a decorative bow by tying around the ears just like you would tie your shoes.
- Dried corn looks great with pumpkins and gourds. You can put them together in a basket or scatter all three on a mantel or as tablescape.
We'd love to see how creative you get with your dried corn. Hashtag your creations with #botanicalinterests on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.