How To Grow Vegetables

How To Grow Sweetcorn

Growing Sweetcorn - Sweetcorn will grow easily in a good summer, but will not do so well if the Summer is cold or wet. Whilst taking a little while to establish once planted Sweetcorn grows rapidly up to nearly two metres tall. Do not expect a big crop though as each plant produces only one or two sweetcorn cobs.

The sweetcorn kernels store carbohydrate as a sugar, but once they are picked the sugar changes to starch, hence why home grown sweetcorn tastes so much fresher than shop bought. They are best cooked as soon as they are picked to avoid the sugar changing to starch.

Sweetcorn thrives on a warm, sheltered and sunny position. Ideally with well drained soil. It will not thrive on very dry or cold, or heavy soil. Adding well rotted farmyard manure will be beneficial to the crop.

Sweetcorn needs a warm climate to germinate. Place a sheet of polythene over the soil for 2 weeks towards end of May to help warm up the soil (You can also plant through the polythene for extra warmth as well as preventing weeds!)

Sweetcorn is pollinated by wind and not by bees/wasp/butterflies etc. This means you can put a lot of sweetcorn plants in a small footprint ideally around 30cm apart – but personally I have found sweetcorn does well at around 20cm apart, as then in heavy winds they gain support from each other.

Once the sweetcorn plants are off and running so to speak, ensure they are well watered as this really will improve the end crop (I learn from my mistakes!), this should be done particularly when the sweetcorn plants are in flower and will greatly improve the crop. Sweetcorn will take around sixteen weeks from seed sowing to harvest.

The time to pick your sweetcorn? When the furry tassels at the top of the cob turn brown the sweetcorn ready to pick. Growing sweetcorn is easy and believe me the taste of freshly picked and barbecued sweetcorn is fantastic. Enjoy!

Problems growing sweetcorn? Then read up on Sweetcorn Pests And Diseases

By Richard Allen -

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