When to plant out sweetcorn – expert tips for delicious sweetcorn

When to plant out sweetcorn – expert tips for delicious sweetcorn

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It might seem a faff to grow your own sweetcorn from scratch but with a little patience, you will be able to grow the juiciest corn around. Your old tins of sweetcorn will be firmly shoved to the back of your cupboard if you follow our simple guide to growing this delicious veg.

Sweetcorn is best grown in long hot summers.

To give your corn the best chance against the unpredictable British weather sow the large seeds at a depth of 2.5cm in individual pots and place them indoors from mid-April to early May.

When the weather warms you can plant your young corn outdoors directly into the ground or in pots.

Choose a sunny sheltered spot with fertile soil.

Make sure the soil is above 10C in temperature, any less than this and it will not be warm enough for the corn to flourish.

You must grow your corn in blocks rather than rows as this crop is wind-pollinated.

Sow two or three seeds in a block 45cm apart from each other.

Corn needs to be watered regularly, especially during dry spells.

To help the roots of the plants retain moisture and to keep cool spread mulch or compost around the base of the crop.

Due to the height of the corn, windy weather may be problematic.

This may cause the corn plants to loosen in the ground and to eventually be blown over, sp build soil up around the bases of the plants to ensure their stability.

Sweetcorn can be ready to harvest from mid-summer.

Some super-sweet hybrids ripen and are ready to harvest in just 60 days but be warned other varieties may not be ready until 100 days so it is worth doing your research to find a type that fits to your anticipated growing schedule.

To check that your corn is ripe enough see if the tassels at the end of a cob have turned brown.

Pick out a kernel and squeeze it, if a creamy liquid squirts out then it is ripe enough, but if this liquid is more watery then it is not ready to be harvest yet.

To harvest either use a sharp knife to cut the stem or simply twist the ripe cobs and pull them from their stems.

Watch out for mice and birds are your corn will be particularly susceptible to these critters.

Use netting or fleece to cover your corn to protect them from bird attacks, and lay out traps to catch mice.

If you want to look like a proper farmer then a traditional scarecrow can be used to deter birds from your precious crop.

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