I made an early start this morning and I got outside to plant my sweetcorn before breakfast! Home grown sweetcorn tastes so much better than shop bought and there’s a reason for this. The sugars in the corn start to turn to starch as soon as they are picked!
If you haven’t grown sweetcorn yourself before then do give it a try, you will be surprised at how sweet it is.
Sweetcorn has some basic requirements to grow well. I don’t grow a huge amount, maybe a dozen plants since it has to be enjoyed fresh and there is only so much we can eat but we all look forward to it, even though the season is short, much like asparagus.
- It must have long, warm days and nights so timing is important. Sow in 3″ pots or plugs in late April to May, in a greenhouse.
- Harden them off for a couple of weeks in the cold frame, or as I often do, by lifting the tray of pots outside the greenhouse during the daytime.
- Plant out at the end of June or early July. Earlier than this and it won’t thrive if the weather is cool and will succumb to slugs if the weather is wet.
- When planting pot grown sweetcorn, try not to disturb its roots, it doesn’t like this.
- Plant them in square blocks, not in rows – they are wind pollinated and will not do well in a row.
- Cobs can be peeled a little and when the tassels are tuning brown to see if they are ripe. When squeezed, corn should produce a milky juice if ripe.
- Cook them immediately so the sugars don’t turn to starch.
- Leftover corn can be dried and given to the chickens a little at a time over the winter.
The spot in which I have planted my sweetcorn (at the bottom of the raised beds) is sheltered and south facing so I hope it is going to grow well!