Sweet corn is a delicious corn variety that received its name due to its higher sugar content. If you’re a farmer who loves sweet fruits and vegetables, then you have to try growing some sweet corn of your own. You can use sweet corn in many recipes, and it also makes a tasty snack on its own.
If you’ve never grown sweet corn before, don’t worry. In this guide, you’ll learn everything you need to know about growing sweet corn. So without further ado, here are some facts to help you learn how to grow the tastiest maize around.
How To Prepare To Grow Sweet Corn
Before you put your seeds in the ground, you should first complete a few other basic steps so that you have a better idea of how the operation will go. First, you should decide on which genetic type of sweet corn you would like to plant. Numerous breeds of sweet corn are available for farmers, and newer varieties are even easier to grow than ones from the past. Newer types can also be sweeter and have more flavor.
Once you decide which type you want to grow, see if your soil is warm enough for your plants to thrive. We’ll talk more about ideal soil conditions later on, but your soil temperature should be near 60 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an area that receives harsh winter weather, you may want to consider growing your corn indoors so that frost doesn’t destroy your plants.
Isolate Your Plants
Your sweet corn plants need to self-pollinate, so if you plan on growing multiple types, be mindful of how close you put assorted varieties to each other. Pollen from each plant will fly off the top of the tassel if there are any strong winds, leading to potential cross-pollination. For best results, plant your corn in squares of four, because single rows of corn will discard too much pollen, leading to ears with blank areas.
Isolation is the key to growing sweet corn plants with distinct kernel colors and genetic types. In addition, you want to isolate your plants throughout time as well as space. Corn plants in close proximity will cross-pollinate due to pollen blowing off of them, but since separate varieties release pollen at various times, growing different varieties at least two weeks away from one another ensures that cross-pollination will not occur. Nonetheless, if you only grow one type, you won’t have to worry about cross-pollination.
Testing Your Soil for Ideal Growing Conditions
Before you begin planting, test your soil to ensure it will be suitable for growing the sweet corn seedlings. Ideal soil will drain easily, contain organic materials, and have a pH between 5.7 and 7.1.
Make sure to add phosphorus and potassium to your soil at levels dictated by the recommendations on the test packaging. If your soil already contains adequate amounts of these elements, seek out fertilizer that doesn’t include them or that only contains them in low amounts.
To improve the conditions of your soil, use well-rotted compost or manure, because fresh manure might contain bacteria that could harm your plant. In addition, fresh manure could lead to more problems with weeds. However, you don’t want to use a fertilizer with weed-killer, either, because it might bring your plants down with it. After you find the right fertilizer, pour it onto your plants and push it into the soil. Then, water your plants so that the fertilizer can disperse through the roots.
Understand the Importance of Direct Seeding
Different types of sweet corn grow at different paces, but all varieties will thrive in cool, moist, compact soil. If you aren’t sure if your soil is at the right temperature, use a thermometer to ensure the soil temperature is between 50 and 60 degrees Fahrenheit. When you plant your seeds, make sure you plant each one an inch deep into the soil.
Furthermore, you should keep your seeds between eight inches and one foot apart and your rows two and a half to three feet apart. The seeds that require the utmost caution when you care for them are kernels. Since they absorb double the amount of water that the others do, you won’t want to plant them any deeper into the soil than an inch at most.
The likelihood of disease infecting your seeds increases when the soil gets cooler, so be sure to monitor your soil temperature to prevent this from happening. Also, farmers tend to treat their seeds with fungicide, but if you want to use untreated seeds, make sure your soil is on the warmer side. When it comes time to harvest your crops, be on the lookout for sweet corn bags for sale
so that you can store your plants in the appropriate materials.
Tips for Picking Your Sweet Corn
For best results, harvest your corn bright and early, when the sun rises. To grasp your crop correctly, pull down on the ear with a firm grip and twist it while you pull. The ear will come right off the stalk if you perform the maneuver correctly.
How To Store Your Corn
If you want to treat yourself, boil some water before you pick off the first ears of sweet corn, because before you know it, your crops might lose their fresh flavor. Corn generally tastes best as soon as you harvest it. The sugars begin the conversion process of becoming starches as soon as the ears leave the stalk, so the corn will reach peak sweetness about a week after you pick it. You can store your corn in the refrigerator for short-term storage or in the freezer for a longer period.
Overall, growing your own sweet corn plants is a gratifying experience that will not only give you something delicious to eat but could also earn you money if you decide to sell your crops at a farmer’s market. After learning everything you need to know about growing sweet corn, you can plant your seeds with confidence and await the next harvest.