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Growing Sweet corn, also maize

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

(Best months for growing Sweet corn in USA - Zone 5a regions)

P = Sow seed

  • Sow in garden. Sow seed at a depth approximately three times the diameter of the seed. Best planted at soil temperatures between 61°F and 95°F. (Show °C/cm)
  • Space plants: 8 - 12 inches apart
  • Harvest in 11-14 weeks.
  • Compatible with (can grow beside): All beans, cucumber, melons, peas, pumpkin, squash, amaranth
  • Avoid growing close to: 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

06 Oct 17, yasmin (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
can Corn grow in Quilpie
09 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - tropical climate)
Requirements to grow something. A medium to grow in (soil), water, sun and fertiliser. Have a go.
01 Oct 17, Erik smith (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi when I grow sweetcorn the corn seems to not mature properly very skinny narrow small cobs that stay white without many kernels which are very pale.i an in Brisbane Qld
02 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Your corn is not being pollinated. Plant several rows - helps pollination. When the tassel (top part) and ears (cob) have come out, run your hand up (close the fingers in) the tassel to release the pollen and it falls down on the ears. It will collect the pollen as you run your hand up and then drop it on the ears, Plenty of water.
04 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I usually give my corn a hit up with fertiliser when I hill the plants up when they are about 15-18" high. You could use de-composted manure or compost. The wind usually helps with the pollination process but sometime no wind or it is too strong.
01 Oct 17, Darren (Australia - temperate climate)
Sweetcorn needs a lot of compost and aged manure dug into the soil beforehand; it is a very hungry crop. Also loves water.
27 Aug 17, Rhyce (Australia - tropical climate)
why can't you grow corn near celery
19 Jul 17, Colleen (Australia - temperate climate)
What is the best corn variety for Victoria... Gippsland?
02 Aug 17, Bev (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
What corn you grow is really based on what you're hoping to eat/cook. If you look at the seed catalogues of the open pollinated seed companies, you'll find they offer hybrid varieties too.
21 Jul 17, Mike (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I would have a guess and say it probably doesn't matter what variety you plant but more when you plant it. Temperate - Sept to Jan and Cool - Oct to Jan. I tried a heirloom variety and it didn't taste very good. Went back to the Big Hardware Chain (Bunnings) and bought seedlings - the hybrid kind. Probably comes down to what kind of corn you prefer. I have tried seed planting for green cabbage, red cabbage, broccoli and corn this year - won't bother again - will just buy seedlings.
Showing 1 - 10 of 272 comments

I would have a guess and say it probably doesn't matter what variety you plant but more when you plant it. Temperate - Sept to Jan and Cool - Oct to Jan. I tried a heirloom variety and it didn't taste very good. Went back to the Big Hardware Chain (Bunnings) and bought seedlings - the hybrid kind. Probably comes down to what kind of corn you prefer. I have tried seed planting for green cabbage, red cabbage, broccoli and corn this year - won't bother again - will just buy seedlings.

- Mike

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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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