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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

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.
29 Jan 19, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Plant 20cm apart rows 60-70cm apart. 15-20 seeds in 2-3 rows Try Boondie seeds on the internet – variety “bicolour” nice and sweet.
06 Feb 19, Michael (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Thanks everyone for the advise. WIll check out Boondie seeds! Also found Greenpatch seeds around the corner from them too. Looks promising.
29 Jan 19, Mike (Australia - temperate climate)
Better to plant 2-3-4 rows to have better pollination.
31 Jan 19, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Google about growing it in WA
24 Jan 19, Noel (Australia - temperate climate)
I live in Perth wa what is the best time to grow sweet corn anfor what period can you grow for
31 Jan 19, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Perth: This impressive crop does take up a bit of room but it's well worth it; the sweetness of fresh picked home-grown sweet corn is hard to beat. Plant from September through to January. Preparing the site Choose a sunny site that’s protected from strong winds. Sweet corn is a hungry crop so it’s important to enrich your soil before planting. Add a plenty of aged manure and a handful of blood & bone per square metre and fork it in well. Sweet corn will do well in a bed that’s previously grown healthy peas or beans. In the right conditions, each plant will usually produce 2 ears of corn. Planting Plant seedlings or seeds (ensure seeds are fresh). Space 30cm apart and plant in blocks rather than a single long row. Planting in blocks assists pollination which is essential for the development of kernels. Plant early and late varieties in separate blocks for a longer season. Water seeds well after planting then sparingly until germination occurs as the seeds can rot easily. When the stalks are about 20cm high, mound the soil up against the stalks. This process, called hilling, encourages more roots to grow which will help stabilise the plant during windy conditions. You can also achieve the same result by planting the seeds in a furrow and backfilling as the plants grow. Watering and fertilising Once the plants are well underway it’s important to ensure an adequate moisture level, especially since the plants will be at their peak of fruit production over the hot months. Drip irrigate if possible and mulch well to retain moisture. As soon as the tassel appears at the top of the plant, give the soil a boost with a granular fertiliser that’s high in nitrogen. Insufficient pollination results in ears of corn with lots of missing kernels. Planting sweet corn in one long single row can result in most of the pollen being blown away, which is why gardeners plant corn in blocks instead.Can be hand pollinated by cutting off a pollen-laden tassel each day and gently brushing over the silks . Sweet corn is ready to pick 2-3 weeks after pollination and it's important to keep up the water during this time.
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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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