Dent Corn- Cocke's Prolific

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Dent Corn- Cocke's Prolific - Sow True Seed
Dent Corn- Cocke's Prolific - Sow True Seed
Dent Corn- Cocke's Prolific - Sow True Seed
Dent Corn- Cocke's Prolific - Sow True Seed

Dent Corn- Cocke's Prolific

Zea mays

HERILOOM. Thought to be extinct for decades, this corn was rediscovered in Inman, SC by Sow True Seed’s GM, Angie Lavezzo. After some historical digging and verification by Food Historian Dr. David Shields, we are very proud to be reintroducing this long lost variety to the public for the first time since 1951.

This corn was stewarded by Mr. Manning Farmer on his land in the Dark Corner area of Inman, South Carolina for for most of his 96 years. First grown by his uncle and his father, Mr. Farmer has been growing and keeping this seed pure since the 40's and we are very grateful to him for it.

Cocke's Prolific was developed by John Hartwell Cocke's, who was a proficient and prolific agriculturalist in the first half of the 1800’s. Many of his breeding projects made their way to his friend Thomas Jefferson who grew them, including the Cocke's Prolific corn at Monticello. While this corn was grown widely after it's introduction, the decedents of John Hartwell Cocke that we've spoken with report that it didn't reach legendary status until his enterprising Daughter, Lucy Cocke realized that she could market it as high quality horse feed. This made her a very wealthy woman and helped launch this fantastic corn into infamy. It is now thought that all modern dent corns have roots in Cocke's Prolific gene stock as it was so popular as a parent plant. Modern hybrids and the odd shift towards primarily yellow dent corn contributed in this variety becoming almost completely extinct. What was once one of the most cultivated corns in the South because of its reliably high yields and excellent flavor is now back and ready for you to enjoy and save yourself. We hope you will join us in bringing this corn back into the spotlight it deserves to be in. Produces at least two good sized ears of heavy, white kernaled corn, perfect for cornmeal and hominy. 

Voted onto the Slow Foods Arc of Taste for 2019!

Average Seed / oz Seed / 100' Row Average Yield / 100' Row Days to Harvest
90 4 oz 200 ears 110
Planting Season Ideal Soil Temp Sun Frost Tolerance
After Last Frost 65-85°F Full Sun Frost Sensitive
Sowing Method Seed Depth Direct Seed Spacing Seeds Per Packet
Direct Seed 1/2" 3" 45
Mature Spacing Days to Sprout Production Cycle Seed Viability
8-12" 7-10 Annual 4-6 years

Planting Guide and Seed Saving Notes for Corn

Corn (zea mays)

This versatile grain, dating back to 2,500 BCE, was first domesticated in Central America, and is now the most grown crop in the United States. Unfortunately, this botanical stalwart is being threatened; approximately 90% of the corn produced in the Untied States is GMO, most of that used for animal feed and ethanol for fuel. Because corn is wind pollinated, there is a high risk of cross pollination from up-wind GMO crops with our open-pollinated and heirloom varieties. To protect our corn, we go to great lengths to support and educate our growers about appropriate isolation distances and seed saving techniques (seed saving notes below).

Dent Corn

Dent corn is one of the oldest types of cultivated corn, it is so named for the dent in the middle of each kernel, formed when the soft starch dries. Excellent dried for milling, especially as grits, or to curry favor with a chicken flock. Dent corn is also edible when young and fresh, although not as sweet as more common sweet corn varieties. To harvest, let ears dry on stalk and pick after a light frost if possible. Store in mouse proof containers for the winter. 


Yes! Grow your own popcorn and bring joy to everyone! Corn varieties suited to popcorn have a waterproof hull and dense starchy interior. Leave ears on stalks until fully dried if possible. To prepare, break dried kernels off the husk with your hand and pop as usual.

Sweet Corn

Selected for high sugar content when fresh, this type of corn is best eaten the day it is harvested on the cob or fresh in salads. Harvest when kernels are filled in and milky.

How to Grow Corn from Seed

Bed Preparation

Corn is a frost sensitive annual that prefers full sun and is tolerant of a wide variety of soils. Corn is a heavy nitrogen feeder, so planting in beds which previously contained nitrogen-fixing crops such as beans, peas, etc. can give plants a boost.


Corn does not transplant well, so direct-seed outdoors once the danger of frost has passed and soil temperatures have warmed to 60˚ F. Plant seeds ½-1" deep and 2-3" apart in rows 18-24"apart. Thin seedlings so that mature plants are 3" apart. The rule of thumb is to grow at least four 10' rows to assist its pollination by wind.

To extend your harvest, sow an early-maturing type every 2 weeks for 6 weeks, or plant early, mid-season, and late types at the same time. Corn is traditionally planted with bean and winter squash, a trio known as the 3 sisters.


For sweet corn, harvest when kernels have filled in and contain milk. To check ripeness, peel back husk and pierce a kernel to see evidence of the milky liquid. For dent and popcorn, allow to dry on stalk and harvest around 1st frost.

How to save Corn Seeds

Corn is monoecious plant, meaning it has separate male (tassel) and female (ears)parts on each plant. Select the earliest and fullest cobs on each plant for seed saving. If you are unsure if how much space is between you and your next possible corn growing neighbor, cover the tassel and ears with bags to protect from cross-pollination. Allow the ears to develop and dry out on the stalk for as long as possible. When ready to dry, pull back the husks and place in a rodent-proof area. Once fully dried, carefully break off the seeds and store in a cool, dry place.



Shipping and Handling Costs

Our website automatically calculates shipping costs based on weight, and zip code. If your order is under 1 lb you have the option of USPS First Class or USPS Priority. If your order is 1 lb or over it will be shipped USPS Priority, it can NOT be shipped USPS First Class.    Return to Top


Shipping Policy / Delivery Policy 

Orders with all items in stock will ship in 3-4 business days, plus transit time. During peak season (January - April) please allow extra time for your order to be fulfilled. We do NOT process orders on the weekend, if you place an order on Friday it will be processed on Monday

All orders are shipped by the United States Postal Service, either USPS First Class or USPS Priority. USPS First Class (under 1 pound) transit time 5-6 business days. USPS Priority (1lb and over)  transit time 2-3 business days. If your order is over 1 lb it will be shipped USPS Priority, it can NOT be shipped USPS First Class. All transit times varies by season. If you want to receive tracking information please provide an email when placing your order, tracking information is sent via email. If you require expedited shipping please call us at 828-254-0708.

Pre-Order/ Seasonal Items: 

If your order contains a Pre-Order/ Seasonal item(s), example: Garlic, Shallots, Seed Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, etc., they will be shipped during the season those items are available. If your order has both Pre-Order / Seasonal items and seed packets, cover crops, etc., Pre-Order items will NOT delay the other items in your order from being shipped.Those NON Pre-Order/ Seasonal items will be shipped within 3-4 business days, and the Pre-Order/ Seasonal items will ship out separately as they become available. 

Local Pick-Up: 

If you live near Asheville, North Carolina, and would like to pick up your order, instead of paying shipping, you can select local pick up when you are checking out. Please provide a phone number and (or) email address so we can contact you when your order is ready to pick up. Please allow 2-3 days to process local pick up orders during peak season (Januray-April). If you do NOT live in North Carolina, for example you live in Johnson City, Tennessee and would like to pick up your order instead of paying shipping, please put our address as the shipping address:

Sow True Seed 243 Haywood St, Asheville, NC 28801

If you do not use a North Carolina shipping address it will not allow you to select local pick up. 

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Refund Policy

We rigorously test our seed three times a year through the NC Department of Agriculture to ensure that your seed will germinate and remain viable as long as it is stored correctly. We never sell seed that does not meet the Federal standards of germination. For quality control reasons, we regret that we cannot accept returns of seed, but if for any reason your seed does not germinate within the sell-by date, we will gladly replace the seed. We ask that you keep the LOT# from the seed packet so we can keep track of any complaints.

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Security Policy

Your payment and personal information is always safe.  Our Secure Sockets Layer software is the industry standard and among the best software available today for secure commerce transactions.  It encrypts all of your personal information, including credit card number, name, and address, so that it cannot be read over the internet.

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Privacy Policy

We respect and are committed to protecting your privacy.  We may collect personally identifiable information when you visit our site.  We also automatically receive and record information on our server logs from your browser including your IP address, cookie information and the pages you visited.  We will never sell your personally identifiable information to anyone, ever.

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Photo Policy

TERMS FOR IMAGE RIGHTS - these things always sound scary, but basically we enjoyed your photo and would love to use it so other people can see what our seeds can become! We'd love to do that without getting in trouble, so being that we live in a crazy world, here are a few terms:

If you agree to permit us to use the photograph, we will need you to agree to a few terms. The terms are as follows:

  • I represent and warrant that I am the individual that submitted the referenced photograph (“Photograph”). Further, I confirm that any other individuals shown in the Photograph have agreed to be included and permitted me to agree to these terms on their behalf and agreed to the license granted here or that I am authorized to agree on their behalf.
  • I represent and warrant that the Photograph is my own original work, and that the Photograph does not violate any law, regulation or any right of any third-party, including but not limited to rights of copyright, trademark, publicity and/or privacy.
  • Further, I confirm that I am granting Sow True Seed, 146 Church St, Asheville NC 28801 a non-exclusive, perpetual, royalty-free, fully-paid license to edit, display, reproduce, modify, use, and distribute the Photograph (in whole or in part).
  • To that end, I agree to indemnify Sow True Seed against any claims made by individuals pictured in the Photograph, any claims pertaining to copyright, trademark, or other intellectual property law violations, and any claims by individuals that may contest Sow True Seed’s right to use the Photograph as described above.
  • I understand and agree that this is a complete RELEASE and DISCHARGE of all or any claims and rights that I may have against Sow True Seed and that no action will be taken by me or on my behalf with respect to any such rights, it being understood that this Release shall be binding upon my heirs, executors, and administrators.

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