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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 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

29 May 20, Jack (Australia - tropical climate)
What is the good time for Maize harvesting?? Our place is tropical, had a winter for short period of time, summer start from September till March.
30 May 20, Anonymous (Australia - tropical climate)
11-14 weeks after planting. Read the comments here Gardenate - the info is in the notes.
17 Apr 20, Colin and Taksan (Australia - temperate climate)
Our corn has grown well but on opening it to check there were caterpillars eating it. What is the best way to control these?
20 Apr 20, (Australia - temperate climate)
If they don't eat much just cut the damaged section off. That is what I do. Caused by the heliothis moth. Look on the internet for a spray.
10 Apr 20, Pamela MATHEWS (Australia - tropical climate)
Hellow .. what is the best way to plant corn..eg:in rows or bunch in together..first time grower..thank you
14 Apr 20, Anon (Australia - temperate climate)
Plant 2-3-4 rows about 80-90cm between rows. When plants are about 40-50cm high run some fertiliser down each side of the plant and then hill the soil up around the plants. Makes the plant more stable in the ground.
05 Apr 20, Robyn (Australia - tropical climate)
I’ve always though corn was super hardy. My plants are about 3 weeks old, decent size and some little green caterpillars (about 1cm long) smashing it. Please help, what can I do? Natural solution?
06 Apr 20, Jenni (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi, we use a mix of 1 tablespoon molasses to 1 litre water on caterpillars in corn, swamp lilies, and new cycad leaves. Molasses is available in 2 litre containers from produce stores. Good luck.
06 Apr 20, Anon (Australia - temperate climate)
Go to iView (ABC TV) on the internet and find Landline from yesterday Sunday 5/04/20 and watch the show. There is a story about the army worm (I think) that has just arrived in Northern Australia in particular Qld that is hammering sweet corn/maize.
05 Apr 20, Deborah Hornberger (USA - Zone 10b climate)
What is the best variety of sweet corn I can plant now.
Showing 1 - 10 of 340 comments

I want to plant the 3 sisters, corn (maize), beans and squash, for my zone (9b) both beans and squash can be planted in Aug/Sep but I've missed the cut off for sweetcorn. Has anyone had experience of planting maize in this climate at this time? Will it work or am I likely to be disappointed? Thanks for any help. Katie

- Katie N

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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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