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Growing Sweet corn, also maize

Jan F M A M J J A S O N Dec
P                 P P P

(Best months for growing Sweet corn in New Zealand - cool/mountain regions)

P = Sow seed

October: After risk of frost

  • 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

21 Jul 19, Barbara (Australia - tropical climate)
Can you tell me what the best variety of sweet corn is for the tropics, and is it too late in the year to plant it here (Darwin NT)? It is currently our Dry Season - ie no rain at all. Thank you.
15 Aug 19, Linda (Australia - tropical climate)
I have just bought seeds from Eden seeds for Bali corn, which is suited to tropics and will give two cobs per plant. I haven't planted yet, tho that is why I'm looking a t comments for any hints.
22 Jul 19, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
You can plant it any month except Dec. Try Sweet Corn Bi- Colour from BOONDIE SEEDS on the internet. I usually buy several packets at a time. Plant several rows 2.5' apart. When plants are 18 (?)
31 Jul 19, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
When the plants are 40cm high run a thin line of fertiliser down each side of the plants and then hill the soil up around the plants. This will give the plant better anchorage to the ground and produce a good strong plant.
16 Jul 19, Peter field (New Zealand - temperate climate)
We havnt had a frost up in the far north(kiataia) for zonks. I have wet ground temp of 13 deg . Can i plant corn
17 Jul 19, (New Zealand - temperate climate)
It does say plant from - Sept. Soil temp 16+. We are in July - have a think about it. Do something about trying to dry out your soil. Add decompose compost or manures to aerate the soil - have good loose soil - not heavy wet soil. Corn is a summer - autumn crop so the thing about frost is not important.
19 Mar 19, Irene (Australia - temperate climate)
I have found 2 corn cobs with lots of corn plants 2 inches long ,growing in worm farm Is it worth planting them in garden now March 19th .
01 Feb 19, (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
What should I be feeding my corn with please ?
03 Feb 19, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
27 Jan 19, Michael (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Advice needed: *what species of corn to grow in subtropics (Northern NSW, Australia). *what desities (2, 3, 4 rows, how far apart)? Thanks all.
Showing 1 - 10 of 313 comments

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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. GardenGrow 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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