How to Grow Sweetcorn

How to Grow Sweetcorn

How to Grow Sweetcorn Not everyone’s choice for a garden vegetable, because they take up rather a lot of room and are only moderately successful in a poor British summer. Varieties are constantly improving, however. Sweet corn likes a damp July and a warm August.

Soil requirements

A wide range is tolerated but it must be well drained and must warm up quickly in spring as sweet corn doesn’t grow well at soil temperatures below 50°F (10°C)

Possible yield

1-2 cobs per plant.

Time from Sowing to harvest

About four months.


This is another vegetable that has undergone much improvement in the last fifteen to twenty years; mainly with the introduction of ‘supersweet’ varieties.’ Early Extra Sweet’ (supersweet),’Royalty’ (normal sugar) and ‘Sweet Nugget’ (supersweet) are all well suited to cooler conditions.


May be sown singly in peat pots in heat during April or outdoors in situ in the first half of May.

Sow outdoors, 10in (25cm) between seeds, in rows 30in (75cm) apart. It’s as well to sow several more in peat pots to allow for any gaps. Aim to get as near square a plot as possible because sweet corn is wind pollinated and this assists it. Added to that, it gives the plants good wind protection as they support each other.


Plant out heat-raised plants when the risk of frost is over at the spacings quoted above.


Cloches and tunnels are a terrific help in the early stages to get the seeds and seedlings started and growing away. Keep weed-free with a good thick mulch of garden compost; hoeing should be avoided as it can easily damage the shallow root system.

Pests and diseases

Nothing in particular.


The cobs are ripe when the ‘silks’ that hang from the top are drying and have gone brown, but before the covering of the cob has started to turn yellow. A further test is to expose the top of the cob and test an individual seed. If it is still milky, leave it a few more days. It is safest to use secateurs to cut the cob from the plant. Any surplus can be frozen on the cob.


16. March 2011 by admin
Categories: Organics, Vegetable Gardening | Tags: | Comments Off on How to Grow Sweetcorn


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