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Growing Sweetcorn – How to Grow Sweetcorn

United Kingdom Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow Indoors
Sow Outdoors
Plant
Harvest
PERSONAL GROWING NOTES (if being grown this year)
Variety Date Sown Transplanted Planting Out First Harvest Last Harvest

There is nothing more rewarding than breaking a cob of corn off the plant and cooking it within minutes of harvesting.

VARIETIES

SWIFT
An early maturing, extra tender sweet corn with a high sugar content that gives a deliciously sweet flavour. It has a dwarf habit and improved performance in cold soils. Eat raw or cooked. Has 2-3 times the sugar levels of ordinary sweet corns. Careful sowing in warm moist soil/seed compost is essential to ensure good germination. RHS Award of Garden Merit winner.

SUNDANCE
Considered as the best sweet corn for early maturing in our indifferent British summers and recommended by the Northern Horticultural Society. The cobs are often 18cm (7″) long, packed with sweet creamy-yellow kernels. Recommended by the National Institute of Agricultural Botany. Great beginner variety. RHS Award of Garden Merit winner.

 

 

SOWING

For an early crop you can start the seeds indoors during April then transplant outside to their final position once the fear of frost has past. They need a temperature of between 15c – 20c (60f – 68f) to germinate. If you don’t have the opportunity to grow indoors, you can sow directly outside in May and early June.

PLANTING

Distance between plants 16in, distance between rows 16in. Sow in a block rather than straight lines, this will give better harvests as the pollen from the plants will distribute far better in a block of 6, 12, etc.

Companion Planting

They like to be grown with Potatoes, Broad Beans, Cucumber, Squash, Melons and Tomatoes.

Seasonal Care & Related Posts

As the plants get tall I always earth-up around the base of the plant. This protects any roots which have become exposed and gives more stability to the plant. Water well in dry prolonged weather.

    PESTS, DISEASES AND PROBLEMS

    Slugs and snails in the early days, other than that I’ve found them to be quite easy to grow.

    Harvesting

    To tell if your sweetcorn is ready for harvesting you will notice the ‘silks’, the hair like strands coming out of the top of the corn will turn brown. To be extra sure, gently peel back the top few layers until you expose the corn, pierce a corn and you should expect to see a milky sap shoot out. If it does then you can break the cob off the plant, otherwise replace the layers back into their position and let it continue to grow.

    How to Store

    Sweetcorn is always best when eaten fresh.

    RECIPES WHICH USE SWEETCORN

      SWEETCORN IN THE NEWS

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        About Sean James Cameron

        Based in London, Sean has been gardening since being a teenager. Although vegetables and fruit is the main passion, there is also room for flowers.

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