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Growing Sweet corn, also maize

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
P P P P P P P P P P P  

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

P = Plant in the garden.

  • 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 seedling
  • A young corn plant
    A young corn plant
  • Feathery cobs on side of stem. Male flowers at top.
    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

10 Jan 17, james (Australia - temperate climate)
How can you freeze sweetcorn if you grow a lot of them, instead of just giving it all away?
16 Jan 17, John (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I also just trim each end and freeze it, leaving the husks on the cobs before i bag them.
13 Jan 17, FRANK (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
James, I love sweetcorn and grow heaps.Used to blanch it and vacumn seal then freeze for up to 12 months, now I just freeze. Still beautiful and sweet and lasts all year.
04 Jan 17, Phil (Australia - temperate climate)
A more general question regarding crop rotation... I chose corn because I've seen several such discussions on this board. When you plant in rotation 'following' another crop... from where does the benefit come? Must I compost any leftover foliage of the previous crop and dig it back in to gain benefit? Or is there some other reason?
09 Dec 16, Raychelle (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi, My corn only got to about 1 meter tall.. Any suggestions on why?
10 Dec 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Did the plants have normal sized cobs? Some varieties of corn are shorter growing. Short stalks can also indicate stress such as lack of water or nutrients, corn needs plenty of both. Sometimes store bought seedlings that may have been stressed in their punnets will do this. Trust this helps.
11 Dec 16, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I live in the temperate zone (Bundaberg Qld area) I grow corn from March through to Oct- Nov. The corn grown through autumn and winter grows the highest (cool time of year) but the corn in the spring doesn't grow as high -- two reasons I feel. 1. it is getting hotter and goes to seed quicker and 2. the soil isn't as fertile. I dig all my plant residue and lawn clippings into the soil Oct - Jan --- so when I start planting in March I have very good friable fertile soil. Plenty of fertilizer and water should produce a good crop.
07 Dec 16, ben peter rooney (Australia - temperate climate)
when to plant them in december
09 Dec 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
It ìs very late to consider planting sweet corn. If you are in a warmer area you may still produce usable cobs. You could give it a go and if there is not enough season left you could make baby cobs for stir fries and use the stalks for a crop of climbing peas or mulch. If you live in an area that the winter comes later you might still make it. Trust this helps.
29 Nov 16, Topher Varnish (Australia - temperate climate)
My corn are doing very well and currently at about 50cm, nice deep green. They have started new stalk shoots coming from the bases. Should I cut them off or leave them? thanks & regards, Topher
Showing 1 - 10 of 209 comments

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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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