How to grow Sweetcorn

Sweetcorn is an easy crop to grow and loves long hot summers. Sweetcorn is wind pollinated, so you will need to grow it in blocks and traditionally each plant produces one or two cobs.

Sow from mid-April to May in modules roughly an inch deep. Sweetcorn does not germinate in cold compost (10C or below), so try and keep the compost warm. Start to harden them off from the end of May and plant out from June depending on the weather.

Plant in blocks roughly 18 inches apart in a warm, sunny, sheltered spot. Sweetcorns like fertile soil, so it pays to add plenty of organic matter to the bed before planting. Mulch with organic matter to keep the soil round the roots moist and also to help suppress weeds.

Cobs are normally ready to harvest when the tassels have turned brown. To test if they are ready, squeeze one of the grains and if a creamy liquid comes out, it’s ready to harvest. If it’s clear, it is not ripe.

Pests and Diseases
The main pests you are likely to encounter are mice and birds. Mice like to eat the seeds of sweetcorn when sown. Cover the seeds with wire netting to try and keep the mice off. Birds such as Crows and Jays are likely to damage the cobs when they are developing.

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