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Sweetcorn

Zea mays

Sweet corn, Maize

Maize is an annual large vegetable that needs lots of water, added plant food and direct sun. Starch in sweet corn is converted into sugar more readily while the starch in maize will stay. These plants require plenty of space in the vegetable garden. They will quickly grow about 2 meters high! What makes them attractive for a garden is the varying colours of the kernels that can be yellow, white or both of these colours on the same cob. Interesting pearly and colourful variations are also available!

Planning

Difficulty
Moderate
Flowering time
Summer
Fruiting time
Summer

Harvesting

The cobs will be ready to harvest 70 - 80 days after sowing. The 'beard' usually dries and looks brown. To harvest a cob, grasp it firmly, bend it down and pull toward the ground with a twisting motion. Husk and cook or freeze immediately for best quality. Husks can be shredded and then composted or dug back into the garden soil.

Propagation

Seed
Sowing time best during Spring and Summer. Sow the sweetcorn and maize in blocks rather than rows for effective wind pollination. Sowing depth between 40 - 50 mm and germination time is 5 - 7 days.

Special features

Crop rotation
Heavy feeder
Attractive leaves
Light to medium green thick stem with long green stemless leaves.
Hedge plant
Often used as a hedge in the vegetable garden.

Geography

Origin
Mexico and Central America
Natural climate
Warm

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Loam, Sand, Clay
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Hardy

Uses

Edible
It is best to steam or grill corn on the cob to get its full nutritional benefits.
Notes
Culinary

Personality

Family
Poaceae
Flower colour
Grass-like flowers , Green
Scent
None

Problems

Wireworm, stalk borers and black beetles are the most found insect pests on corn. Control with insecticide and keep the area weed free.

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