GROWING JUICY SWEETCORN

Commonly called ‘corn on the cob’, this is a very popular vegetable, well worth growing in warm areas.

VARIETIES

‘John Innes Hybrid’ Early, reliable and vigorous with medium-sized cobs.

First of All’ An early variety, produces medium-sized cobs.

Northstar’ Recommended for maximum reliability in northern districts and in cold wet

summers.

‘Kelvedon Glory’ A mid-season variety. A heavy cropper, producing well-filled 17.5 – 20 cm (7 – 8 inch) cobs.

Site and Soil

Select a warm sheltered site. Add plenty of well-rotted organic matter to poor soils to improve moisture retention.

Seed Sowing

Sow indoors in pots in late April/early May. Plant outside in late May under a cloche. Sow directly into the cropping site from mid-April to mid-May, when the soil temperature has risen to 10°C. Place 2-3 seeds every 30 – 37.5 cm (12 – 15 inch) with rows 37.5 – 75 cm (15 – 30 inch) apart.

Routine Work

Thin to one established seedling. Pollen from the male tassels, which form at the top of the plant, floats down in the wind to pollinate the female cobs. Hoe to control weeds; hoeing should be- shallow and a little soil pulled up to the plants;to provide additional support against wind. Water should be given during dry weather.

Harvesting

Sweetcorn is ready to harvest when the silk at the end of the ear or cob has turned dark brown in colour, and the cob feels fully-developed and tight when grasped in the hand.

Pests

Frit fly maggots burrow into the growing point of the plant early in the year, causing twisted leaves and stunted growth. You- can eliminate the risk of this problem by raising plants indoors.

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