Keep your garden growing - see what to plant right now

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 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

27 Aug 17, Rhyce (Australia - tropical climate)
why can't you grow corn near celery
19 Jul 17, Colleen (Australia - temperate climate)
What is the best corn variety for Victoria... Gippsland?
02 Aug 17, Bev (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
What corn you grow is really based on what you're hoping to eat/cook. If you look at the seed catalogues of the open pollinated seed companies, you'll find they offer hybrid varieties too.
21 Jul 17, Mike (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
I would have a guess and say it probably doesn't matter what variety you plant but more when you plant it. Temperate - Sept to Jan and Cool - Oct to Jan. I tried a heirloom variety and it didn't taste very good. Went back to the Big Hardware Chain (Bunnings) and bought seedlings - the hybrid kind. Probably comes down to what kind of corn you prefer. I have tried seed planting for green cabbage, red cabbage, broccoli and corn this year - won't bother again - will just buy seedlings.
29 Jul 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Something I have done and will do again is use a cob of corn I bought from a supermarket. Or a cob from a planting of seedlings. Let it dry out and use the seeds. Only do this one or two times and then start with a new cob. Hybrids don't grow true to type.
12 Jun 17, (USA - Zone 5a climate)
In order to have a later harvest when is the last date in my time zone that I can plant sweet corn. We already have first planting in.
04 May 17, Tony Morales (Australia - temperate climate)
I usually plant yellow (mild) chillies, tomatoes, capsicums, lettuce and herbs which possums do not seem to touch but have blocked up any possible rabbit entry (they a few around Forestville) so I really have no problems.I Still would love to find out when and how to plant my purple corn.
06 May 17, Giovanni (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Late Spring is a good time to sow maize/corn in cooler areas. The soil temperature needs to be above 15 degrees before Summer crops will really take off. A soil thermometer is a good investment, they cost around $20.00.
03 May 17, (Australia - temperate climate)
I have s quite a few PURPLE CORN which I grew a few years ago but over the last 2 years I have been unable to grow them again. Is there any information available about the best time an method to grow them in Sydney?. Thank you
04 May 17, Sean (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Corn and maize do well if they have plenty of compost or manure and a good water supply. They can normally be planted as the weather warms up in spring. probably mid-September onwards in Sydney. You could also plant climbing beans to grow up the corn stalks once the corn has reached about waist high.
Showing 1 - 10 of 266 comments

Post a question, comment or tip about Sweet corn

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

Buy the app for iPhone/iPod, iPad or Android and support GardenGrow

Planting reminders

Join 30,000+ gardeners who rely on GardenGrow. Subscribe to our free planting reminders email newsletter

Home | Vegetables and herbs to plant | Climate zones | About GardenGrow | 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. 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.
We cannot help if you are overrun by giant slugs.