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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

21 Jan 08, sarita (Unknown climate)
i wsih to plant some corn now am i too late or is it ok likving in cranbourne, where can we get good biclour variety n r they gm or gm free. what about hte su or se variety.
09 Jun 08, drew (Unknown climate)
In Adelaide, around the inner suburbs, corn can be started as early as late june, if you put a frame around the seedlings and cover most of it with glad wrap, (put one inch holes around the bottom).
14 Jun 08, Pauline (Unknown climate)
can you ripen corn off the plant
01 Jan 09, yig (Australia - temperate climate)
can you grown them in pots and still get the same quality as growing them in the ground?
06 Jan 09, mikal (Australia - temperate climate)
hi my name is mikal and i want to start growing corn my freinds have told its a month late will they still grow p.s its january
09 Jan 09, Grahame (Australia - temperate climate)
Mikal, there is no problem planting your corn now. Yig, I doubt your corn will do as well in pots as in the ground. Pauline, The corn needs to ripen on the plant before you pick it.
16 Jan 09, Colleen (Australia - temperate climate)
My sweet corn seemed to go well at first but most of the cobs were undersized. It was growing in a shallow no dig garden, could depth of soil be responsible?
17 Jan 09, Kiran Kumar M (New Zealand - sub-tropical climate)
Hi my name is Kiran Kumar .M. from india, i am working in Some private company in that i have conducted temperate sweet corn trials and these trials revealed that it can be grown in sandy soils and plants are most susceptable to stem borer attack
20 Jan 09, willo (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
Colleen, the shallow soil shouldn't be a problem as sweetcorn has a fibrous root system and is shallow rooted. The most important thing is too keep the moisture up and keep them well mulched if soil is shallow. If cobs are small due to not all kerels developing, this due to lack of pollination. Follow the instructions on the site and plant in blocks. Regards.
22 Jan 09, Colleen (Australia - temperate climate)
Willo, thanks for your response. Will hope for better results next time following your advice.
Showing 1 - 10 of 273 comments

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.

- 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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