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 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

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.
03 Oct 20, Brian Halse (USA - Zone 10b climate)
How tall should the Sweet Corn be before planting the beans?
08 Oct 20, (USA - Zone 10b climate)
Probably 30cm or so.
01 Sep 20, MARIO (South Africa - Dry summer sub-tropical climate)
Hi, Would you know where I can buy some white maize seeds in Cape Town? Do think they will grow here without any problems? Many thanks, Mario
03 Sep 20, Anonymous (South Africa - Humid sub-tropical climate)
Try a seed selling website.
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?
Showing 1 - 10 of 359 comments

Try a seed selling website.

- Anonymous

Please provide your email address if you are hoping for a reply


All comments are reviewed before displaying on the site, so your posting will not appear immediately

Gardenate App

Put Gardenate in your pocket. Get our app for iPhone, iPad or Android to add your own plants and record your plantings and harvests

Planting Reminders

Join our 60,000+ gardeners who already use Gardenate and subscribe to the free Gardenate planting reminders email newsletter.


Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About Gardenate | Contact us | Privacy Policy

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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.