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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

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
29 Nov 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Sweet corn often sends up 'basal' shoots like this. They don't usually come to anything so I suggest you twist or cut them off as they will detract from better cobs on the main growth. You may also check your variety as some varieties do grow multiple stems with cobs.Trust this helps.
25 Nov 16, joe bugeja (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I'm just wondering were can I buy broken cobs in Australia? regards Joe.
27 Nov 16, John (Australia - temperate climate)
Hello Joe, What did you mean by 'broken' cobs? If you mean the cobs after the seed has been removed you could search for - corn/maize seed - bulk on the internet and ask them. They usually have plenty to get rid of.
29 Aug 16, Rod ( Sydney ) (Australia - temperate climate)
i have been monitoring the soil temperature for a couple of weeks and it seems to be above 12 to16 degrees most days , sometimes in the early 20 I measured the soil temperature at 25 mm below ground level , seed sowing recommendations the seeds went into the ground today and as we speak the sprinklers are on should come up in 2 weeks , fingers crossed I followed the 3 sisters format as close as I could , my beds are not 5 feet wide
07 Aug 16, Yvonne (Australia - temperate climate)
Hi, I have been given lots of dried corn from bird mix Can I grow them? I mainly want them for bird and guinea pig food.. If so, when do I plant them in South Australia and what distance apart?
14 Aug 16, Chrostopher White (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi Yvonne, I am inQld Childers and have grown corn that lasted us a year. The temp here is spring 15-18 min to max 27- 30. Your seed should be viable, worth a go, good luck
16 Jul 16, Rob (Australia - temperate climate)
Greg, I'm at Albion Park NSW 2527. Can you better explain the 3 sisters method of growing corn and beans? When you say, '2mx2mm squares', how many corn plants and bean plants should I put in per plot? Also, distance apart, etc. Do I plant the corn and beans at the same time? Would it work with corn and snow peas as well? The more detailed your response, the better..... Thanks for your help, Rob.
20 Jul 16, Chris (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Plant the corn first, as suggested on the packet, in a grid pattern, so the top flower head will fertilize the corn which grows on the side of the stalk.when the corn is about 20 - 30 cms high, plant climbing beans between the corn, and train them with a twig to grow up a corn stalk. Once the beans are up plant a small vining pumpkin, like butternut,so it doesnt keep growing outside of the area. This keeps the soil covered and cool for the corn and beans. Water by putting it down between the leaves, to keep powdery mildew at bay.A handful of dry chicken manure spread around the corn and beans will help as the corn is maturing. Pick beans carefully, and help pumpkins by fertilizing female flowers with males, due to the lack of bees. Good luck
30 Jul 16, Rod (Australia - temperate climate)
I am about to plant my corn using the three sisters format do a google on three sisters garden , a good read after reading this entire post here , not the three sisters site I think I may wait till the warmer weather soil temperature is about 9 degrees in the morning and 12 degrees midday in Sydney
Showing 1 - 10 of 200 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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