Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Sow under glass
Sow outside
Plant outside
Showing schedule for Southern England in United Kingdom

Soil facts and preparation

Quick facts..

  • Soil Type Fertile and Well Drained
  • Ideal Ph range 6.0 to 7.0
  • Site Full Sun
Pick a site in full sun for the majority of the day. Sweet corn is wind pollinated and so is planted in blocks rather than long rows, your chosen site should therefore be more square shaped rather than long and thin. Note sweet corn plants will grow up to 2 meters tall.

Sweet corn has a deep root system so deep, well drained soil is required. High fertility is also a must, dig in plenty of organic material such as well rotted manure or fresh compost prior to planting. This will boost fertility and aid moisture retention in the soil. Rake in a general purpose fertilizer a couple of weeks before sowing.

Sowing and planting

Quick facts..

  • Germination 5 to 10 days
  • Sow 25mm deep
  • Sow Spacing 150mm
  • Rows 750mm apart
Sweet corn needs warm soil to germinate successfully and may fail to germinate at all if the soil temperature is below 10C. Be sure to wait until any risk of frost has passed.

In regions where the growing season is short it is best to sow indoors in pots and plant out when temperatures are consistently above 16C. Use a black plastic covering to speed up warming of the soil.

Plant in blocks of at least 4 rows, more shorter rows are better than fewer longer rows. Sow seeds 2.5cm deep, 15cm apart with 75cm between rows.

Growing a bumper crop

Sweet corn is an exceptionally hungry and thirsty crop. Water well and feed with a diluted nitrogen based fertilizer. Mulch to preserve moisture and suppress weeds.

Earth up the base of the plants to cover exposed shallow roots and give the plants extra support. It may be necessary to give additional support with steaks or canes.

Harvesting the fruits of your labour

Quick facts..

  • Yield 2000g per plant
Sweet corn cobs are ready to harvest when the tassels at the end of the cob turn brown. Squeeze a grain of corn and examine the liquid, watery and the corn is not yet ripe and thick and gloopy and it is over ripe. What you are looking for is a liquid the consistency of cream. Cook and eat as soon as possible, sweet corn deteriorates in flavour as soon as it is picked.

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