But we can assure you that growing your own sweetcorn can add incomparable deliciousness to your meals. Grill, boil, steam or eat it in its raw form, freshly picked sweetcorn is ready within minutes to be consumed in so many yummy ways.
Sweetcorn in pots can be a comparatively difficult vegetable to grow. Right amount of watering and space is required for the crop to grow. However, with determination, will and out detailed guide, you can grow your own sweetcorn plant. Read on how.
When to plant
The best time to plant sweetcorn in your kitchen garden depends on the climate in your region. It also depends on the kind of variety of sweetcorn you are planting. Good quality sweetcorn seeds are also very important for a healthy crop. Sweetcorn is a warm-season crop that prefers warm soil temperatures to germinate and grow at its full potential. If you are living in a colder climate, it's recommended to wait till spring or summer, when the frost is gone.
You can also check the detailed planting and care instructions mentioned for sweet corn seeds to determine the best time to plant sweetcorn.
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Usually, sweetcorn should be planted in soil that has been prepared with plenty of organic matter, and the seeds should be planted about 1 inch deep. When planting sweetcorn in your kitchen garden, it's important to space the plants correctly to ensure they have enough room to grow and produce healthy ears of corn. The seeds should be planted with the Plant to plant distance of 12 to 18 inches and line to line distance of 18 to 24 inches. This will provide enough space for the plants to grow tall (usually 5-6 feet), and for the ears to form and develop properly. For smaller varieties or container gardening, you can reduce the spacing between the plants, but be careful not to overcrowd them as this can lead to stunted growth and poor yields.
It is important to know that sweetcorn is wind-pollinated, planting it in a block rather than a single row can increase the chances of successful pollination and larger ears of corn. Go for a minimum of four rows of sweetcorn, planted close together to allow pollination.
Sweetcorn typically takes between 70 and 75 days to reach maturity, depending on the variety and growing conditions.
How to care
Caring for sweetcorn plants in your kitchen garden is relatively simple and easy. The following tips can help ensure a healthy crop:
- Watering: Sweetcorn needs a good amount of moisture throughout the growing season. Water deeply once a week. Water more often if the weather is hot and dry. Try to avoid getting water on the leaves, as this can invite diseases and make the plant sick.
- Temperature: Sweetcorn needs full sun for maximum growth and best plant health. Soil temperature must be at least 16°C for germination and growth, but for sweetcorn 15 °C to 29 °C is ideal.
- Fertilizing: Sweetcorn is a heavy feeder, make sure you fertilize the plants with a balanced fertilizer that is high in nitrogen, regularly. Add fertilizer when the plants are about 6 inches tall. Repeat a few weeks later.
- Weed Control: Make sure the area around your sweetcorn crop is clean and weed-free so the plant doesn't have to fight for nutrition and share its water with weed. Get rid of weeds regularly. Check out the natural ways of removing weeds from your garden.
- Pests and Diseases: There are common sweetcorn pests, such as corn earworms and aphids, treat them promptly upon detection. Monitor the plants for signs of diseases (smut, rust, or leaf blight) and treat the plant with natural weed killers like neem oil if necessary.
- Harvesting: Sweetcorn is ready for harvest when the silk turns brown and the ears feel full upon gently squeezing. If you wait too long to harvest, the kernels can become tough and starchy and your corn can be ruined.
How to harvest sweetcorn
Harvesting sweetcorn from your kitchen garden can be such a satisfying and rewarding experience. It's important to do it at the right time to ensure the ears are at their peak flavor and texture.
- Check for ripeness: Sweetcorn is typically ready to harvest about 18-24 days after the silks first appear. The kernels should be plump and milky when you press them with your fingernail. You can also check the tassels on the top of the ear - they should be brown and dry.
- Harvest the ears: To harvest, grasp the ear firmly and pull downward until it detaches from the stalk. If the ear doesn't come off easily, it may not be fully ripe yet. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears to cut the ear off at the base of the stalk, if needed.
- Store the ears: Once harvested, sweetcorn should be eaten or processed as soon as possible to ensure maximum freshness and flavor. You can keep it in the refrigerator in their husks for up to 5 days.
- Dispose of the stalks: After harvesting, you can either compost the corn stalks or reuse them by cutting them up and adding them to your garden as mulch.
By following these simple tips and instructions, you can soon be growing your own sweetcorn in the cozy atmosphere of your kitchen garden. How exciting! Start your sweetcorn garden today by purchasing non-hybrid, open pollinated and non-GMO sweet corn seeds for planting from AllThatGrows. It is the perfect time to start your own kitchen garden as you can enjoy 10% off the entire website on your first order!