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 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

10 Aug 20, Jesus E Amaya (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Is the a particular variety of sweet corn I should plant in Zone 10b?
11 Aug 20, Anonymous (USA - Zone 9b climate)
Not really, comes down to what kind of sweet corn you like. Or ask around local people who grow sweet corn in your area. I grow a bi-color variety in warm climates in Australia.
17 Jul 20, Sarah (USA - Zone 8a climate)
Can I plant corn in mid July in zone.8a?
07 Aug 20, Liz (USA - Zone 8a climate)
If you are zone 8a, click on Vegetables and Herbs tab, go to sweet corn and look it up. Set your zone at the top of the page. Check planting times and follow the suggested planting methods.
28 Jun 20, Judi (New Zealand - temperate climate)
My 6-yr-old came home with an egg carton of sweetcorn seeds he'd planted at school. We put them on the windowsill and they've sprouted beautifully. But it's June, and although it's very mild now (in Waikato) we're expecting to get winter weather soon. He's very excited about these seedlings and would love to grow them to fruition - do you think I could grow them in a large pot as an indoor plant?
30 Jun 20, Anonymous (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Corn needs to be planted in rows about 6-800mm apart. Seeds need to be planted about 150mm apart. Best to grow 2 or more rows together in a block for pollination. When the tassel and silks come out it takes about 5 days for pollination. Then about 21 days for cob to be ready to pick. Read up on the net.
29 Jun 20, Anon (New Zealand - temperate climate)
Corn needs full sunlight to produce a good cob. If you fail this time try a more suitable time like spring summer to try again.
28 Jun 20, Liz (New Zealand - temperate climate)
If you can stand your pot near a sunny window, you might be able to keep the sweetcorn growing. Protect it from cold temperatures and make sure it has plenty of light -
24 Jun 20, Wendy Mingorance (Australia - temperate climate)
I have a sweet corn 2cm just growing starting do I have to leave it under shade from heavy rain I take good care of it place them in nice pots I adore from seedlings what should I do ?
30 Jun 20, wayne (Australia - temperate climate)
Corn is a summer crop, should be put in around late oct to dec. lots of water and I think good nutrient
Showing 1 - 10 of 352 comments

My 6-yr-old came home with an egg carton of sweetcorn seeds he'd planted at school. We put them on the windowsill and they've sprouted beautifully. But it's June, and although it's very mild now (in Waikato) we're expecting to get winter weather soon. He's very excited about these seedlings and would love to grow them to fruition - do you think I could grow them in a large pot as an indoor plant?

- Judi

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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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