Growing Sweet corn, also corn,maize

Zea mays, var. rugosa : Poaceae / the grass family

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

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

  • S = Plant undercover in seed trays
  • T = Plant out (transplant) seedlings
  • 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 16°C and 35°C. (Show °F/in)
  • Space plants: 20 - 30 cm 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 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

06 Jun 21, Barry (Australia - temperate climate)
Best time to grow corn temperate area (Check here : corn?zone=2 Editor )
17 Mar 21, GLORIA (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Can i plant corn maize in pots?
14 Apr 21, Brad (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You sure can I grew corn in pots last season, I used 500x390mm pots from bunnings (the biggest plastic pots they had) I had 9 pots in total in a cube with 3 corn plants in each one and they grew well, those pots are way to heavy for the wind to blow over. I have also used milk crates if you have any of them lying around just chop up your old compost bags and line the inside of the crates and fill, they're really easy to move around they're actually easier to move around then the big plastic pots haha.
18 Mar 21, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Corn should be planted in blocks, that is 2-3 or more rows for pollination reasons. It is probably up to you - do you want say 20 x 30mm+ pots. When plants are 1.2-1.8m high they can blow over in the wind.
07 Mar 21, Wendy Wong (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I am coming to the end of my Corn harvest. I have noticed that the corn is now poker dotted with white & yellow corn. All of my corn is from the same seeds I just staggered the planting to have corn for longer. Also the caterpillars are more frequent as are the gaps in the corn. Are all these normal for end of season "problems"?
08 Mar 21, Anonymous (Australia - arid climate)
You probably have some bicolour seeds mixed in with your normal seeds. Caterpillers are probably due to more rain this time of year for breeding. Gaps in the corn kernels is from poor pollination, windy when pollination is happening. Pollination happens over 4-5 days, run your hand up the tassel then rub on the silks. Also plant more than one row at a time. (Or in a square)
14 Mar 21, Wendy Wong (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Thank You. This information is much appreciated.
22 Oct 20, Mason Wong (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I am growing corn for the 1st time & I seem to be winning, except, I have noticed the soil around the bottom of the stems is falling away as they are growing bigger, and the roots are showing a little. Is this normal? I keep covering them up but worry I may damage the corn. It is strong and healthy and they were dug in deep 45cm when planted. I just want to know if this is normal & are they air roots?
23 Oct 20, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
I hill the soil up around the plant when they are about 30-40cm high. This gives them soil for the roots to grow in. I also run a little fertiliser beside the plant before hilling up.
22 Oct 20, Liz (Australia - arid climate)
Sweetcorn does look as though the roots are showing as it grows taller. They help to support the plant and are quite normal.
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