Growing corn and Sweet corn – what are the facts
09.02.2024 - 16:04
/ Frederick Leeth
No other vegetable captures the succulence of summer like sweet corn. Whether you like your kernels white, yellow, or with both colors on the same ear, new hybrids offer incredibly delicious flavor with very little effort.
A warm weather vegetable, sweet corn must not be planted until after the last frost when the soil is warm. Because sweet corn is pollinated by the wind, you will need enough space to plant this vegetable in blocks at least four rows wide so pollen can fall on adjacent plants. Sweet corn also requires proper fertilization, and you must pick the ears at the right time. Harvest ears when the kernels are glossy and tight blushed with color, and have a full, sweet flavor when you taste a raw ear. As sweet corn becomes overripe, the kernels toughen and the sugar turns to starch.
Proper fertilization is essential for vigorous plants with well-filled ears. Before planting seeds, cultivate the soil 12 inches deep and mix in a Vegetable Food containing timed-release fertilizer. This application should carry your crop until the plants develop tassels, the pollen-bearing spikes that emerge from the tops of the plants.
When the tassels appear, fertilize again gently scratching the fertilizer into the soil around the plants. Corn needs a lot of nitrogen at this stage, so apply at double the rate given for other vegetables.
LIGHT: Full sun
SOIL: Well drained
WATER: When soil becomes dry
SPACING: Sow seeds 4 inches apart; thin to 18 inches between plants
HARDINESS: Cannot tolerate frost; a warm weather vegetable
TIP: Do not sow seeds in cold soil; they will rot.
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