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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 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

02 Apr 18, Macuei Bona (Australia - temperate climate)
I moved to southern Tasmania from overseas and am not sure when to plant corn in this part of the country. Advice please.
04 Apr 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Click on climate zone - temperate and look up sweet corn. Sept to Jan. It says similar for sub-topical but I grow it all year.
04 Apr 18, Phil (Australia - temperate climate)
In Tasmania I would be looking at November, assuming all risk of frost has past.
30 Dec 17, Karen (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
We are growing True Gold sweet corn - has anyone else had trouble with "exposed cobs" short husks ? I didn't think that the plants were exposed to any stress . Is this variety more susceptible to experiencing stress? Anyway some cobs look OK and I'll see what happens to the exposed ones.
04 Jan 18, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
A couple of the cobs of corn I just picked had some exposed corn at the top end. They were quite long cobs 9+ inches. Real strong healthy plants. Sometimes on the side shoots of the plant the cob ends up exposing and doesn't produce a real cob of corn.
06 Oct 17, yasmin (Australia - cool/mountain climate)
can Corn grow in Quilpie
14 Nov 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Mulch around the plants to keep the soil cooler. When the plants have grown about 1' high hill the soil up around them. When another 1' higher, fertilise down each side and hill up again - then mulch them.
09 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - tropical climate)
Requirements to grow something. A medium to grow in (soil), water, sun and fertiliser. Have a go.
01 Oct 17, Erik smith (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
Hi when I grow sweetcorn the corn seems to not mature properly very skinny narrow small cobs that stay white without many kernels which are very pale.i an in Brisbane Qld
02 Oct 17, Mike (Australia - sub-tropical climate)
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.
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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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