Sweetcorn – Introduction
Sweetcorn is super delicious. You can eat it fresh or with a slab of butter. The unique benefit of these tall plants is that they act as a windbreak.
Where we live in Norfolk, they grow sweetcorn in a vast field and then turn it into a wonderful maze for children to play in. Holidaymakers love it. There is nothing like getting lost running through a field of these super tall plants. It’s a maize maze!
Long and hot summers provide the best growing conditions for sweet corn. However, a cooler climate also works for modern cultivars.
Some varieties for colder regions are
- Early cultivars
- Mid-season cultivars
- Late cultivars
Although super sweet cultivars have much sweeter tastes, you need to be careful while sowing them. For instance, you should not have super sweet cultivars and any other cultivar in the same place. Why am I saying so? Well, it results in poor flavour due to cross-pollination.
Extra Tendersweet sweetcorn is also available in the market, which is less chewy.
- Choose a warm place for indoor sowing the sweetcorn.
- Ensure that the temperature is 18–21°C while sowing sweet corn. These temperature conditions can be easily achieved from mid-April to early May.
- Sow the large seeds in a 1-inch deep pot or modules
- Sow early mid-season and late cultivars at the same time. It will ensure the continuous crop for a long time.
Late spring is the best time to sow the sweet corn outdoors.
- Ensure that the soil’s temperature is >10°C.
- Plant the sweetcorn in blocks to encourage pollination. Ensure that blocks are 18 inches apart.
- Thin out the plants to ensure that there are only healthy ones.
- Choose sunny and sheltered soil. Besides, ensure that the planting site of sweet corns is protected from the winds.
- Dig in the manure or garden compost
- Feed the soil with 3 handfuls of high potash fertilizer in each square metre/yard.
- Plant the sweetcorn in blocks
- Mulch the soil to encourage moisture retention and weed suppression
- Hoe regularly to remove weeds.
- Consider individual staking for tall plants.
- Water the plant well in dry weather conditions
Sweetcorn cob starts to ripen from mid-summer onwards. The chocolate brown colour of the tassels at the cob end indicates that sweetcorn has ripened. You can also test the ripeness of the sweetcorn. How can you do it? Peel the small husk amount to pierce the kernel
- Watery liquid indicates that sweetcorn needs time to ripe.
- Creamy liquid indicates that cob is ready to harvest
- Paste like liquid indicates that the cob is overmature.
Now, it’s time to pic the cobs. It’s not a complex process. You have to twist the cobs and pull them sharply simply.
Eat the sweetcorn as early as possible after harvesting. It’s essential because sweetcorn loses its flavour quickly after you pick it.
They eat the sweetcorn seeds
- Trap the mice in the garden
- Set the Break-back traps in the sites where mice are damaging the crop
- Use dessert apple, carrot to trap voles
- Use peanut butter to trap mice
- Place the trap undercover. It will prevent other animals, especially birds, from trapping.
Vegetables, leaves, buds, fruit and seedlings are the parts the birds eat the most. So, you must take preventive measures to save your plants.
- Bird-scaring or scarecrows helps prevent the birds’ attack.
- Use net or fleece to cover the plants.
Slugs and snails
These eat young seedlings, leaving a slime trail in the soil around your crop and on leaves.
You can use biocontrols, copper tape, sawdust and beer traps to control the slugs and snails.
Check out Jamie Oliver’s recipe for corn on the cob
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