First introduced by Burpee Seeds in 1902, at a time when the most popular sweet corn were all white varieties. According to Burpee a skilled gardener in Greenfield, Massachusetts developed this variety because he wanted the earliest corn in the area.
For our purposes here in the Intermountain West, early harvest corn that germinates well in cooler soil than other varieties fits the bill just right.
Not quite a dwarf variety, Golden Bantam runs about 5 feet tall and usually bears two six-inch ears per stalk. If you run it with a high fertility soil, you may get multiple tillers, although they’re not so common with this variety.
Burpee credits Golden Bantam corn with making yellow sweet corn popular. For a long time, this was the best-selling corn seed in the United States. It’s not as sweet as modern super-sweet hybrid varieties, but it’s hardy, can be planted earlier than other varieties and harvested sooner than just about any other sweet corn.
Work in aged manure or compost the fall before planting and let it overwinter in the soil. The soil should be well-draining, but must be able to hold some moisture. Corn tends to use a lot of water.
For sufficient pollination, plan your plot right. Instead of planting two long rows of corn, plant “blocks” of corn at least four rows deep. This ensures that the corn—which is pollinated by wind—has a greater chance of producing viable ears.
Make sure the soil temperature is above 60°F (16°C) for successful germination.
Plant seeds outdoors approximately two weeks after the last spring frost date. Plant seeds 1.5 to 2 inches deep and 4 to 6 inches apart.
Rows should be spaced 30 to 36 inches apart. You need very fertile soil. Commercial growers often fertilize at planting time.
Mulch helps reduce evaporation.
Harvest when tassels begin to turn brown and cobs start to swell. Kernels should be full and milky.
Prepare for eating or preserving immediately after picking. Sweet corn freezes well, especially if removed from ears before freezing.
Germination Rate 93% – September 2020
Minimum 30 Seeds