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Growing Sweet corn, also maize

(Zea mays, var. rugosa)

Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
P P P P P P P P P P P  

(Best months for planting Sweet corn in Australia - tropical regions)

P = Plant direct in garden where they are to grow.


  • Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 16°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 20 - 30 cm apart
  • Harvest in 11-14 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow in same bed): All beans, cucumber, melons, peas, pumpkin, squash, amaranth
  • Avoid growing in same bed: Celery.
  • A seedling
  • A young corn plant
  • Feathery cobs on side of stem. Male flowers at top.

Plant in 4 by 4 blocks to encourage germination Pick when the silky threads on the cobs turn brown or black. Part the top of the leaves and test for ripeness by pressing a grain with your fingernail. If it is milky, it is ready.

Early varieties ripen quickly and are sweeter when just picked.

Avoid planting coloured maize ( for drying) near sweetcorn as they will cross-pollinate and spoil the cobs on both.

Culinary hints - cooking and eating Sweet corn

Pick and cook within an hour. Remove the silks and outer leaves.
Best flavour if microwave about 4 minutes per cob.
Can be barbequed wrapped in foil
Cook large amounts in a stock pot until test soft.
Sprinkle with black pepper and dip in butter.


Your comments and tips

22 Mar 15, Scott (Australia - temperate climate)
Why does my sweetcorn end up with no kernals on the cob. I prepared the soil with organic pellets and chicken manure but didn't have any luck.
28 Feb 15, Francis (Australia - temperate climate)
Can you get coloured sweet corn in Australia? If so, where? They have heaps of types overseas, but the only coloured types I can find in Australia are not sweet corn.
07 Feb 15, john (Australia - temperate climate)
my corn ears are white and small. why have i done wrong?
15 Feb 15, Leah (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Perhaps they haven't been pollinated enough or gotten enough water.
07 Jan 15, Rhonda (Australia - temperate climate)
I'd like to know how to dry the corn - it'd be good to have it on the cob for convenience. Some internet advice includes drying in the oven for extended periods of time. Can it be air dried?
21 Dec 14, Mardi (Australia - temperate climate)
Should you cover the roots as they appear above the soil as they grow
30 Dec 14, Di (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I cover the roots with extra compost or soil and mulch. It seems to help support the corn. Also don't forget to rub your hands through the tops to help the pollination process.
11 Dec 14, Javier Ibarra (Australia - temperate climate)
Does anyone now where to buy kernel in Victoria to make corn flour? I appreciate your time and assistance! Javier
07 Dec 14, Bert (Australia - temperate climate)
For cooking always leave the foliage on. Zap in the micro wave for 3 minutes and then take the leaf off. Best way. Worst way, boiling.
02 Nov 14, Nives Walker (Australia - tropical climate)
Should you remove the shoots which grow from the base of the main plant??
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This planting guide is a general reference intended for home gardeners. We recommend that you take into account your local conditions in making planting decisions. Gardenate is not a farming or commercial advisory service. For specific advice, please contact your local plant suppliers, gardening groups, or agricultural department. The information on this site is presented in good faith, but we take no responsibility as to the accuracy of the information provided.

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