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I checked my 'Swift' last week, and they were ripe and ready to eat. Depending on when they were sown, and what part of the country you live in, home-grown sweetcorn should be ripening up nicely now. The tassels coming out from the top of the cob should look brown. Check cob development by peeling back the outer covering to reveal the cob. Just push your nail into the cob and a milky liquid should come out. If it looks very thin and watery then leave cobs longer to develop. However, if cobs have started to wrinkle up then you've delayed too long! Do not pick and store cobs if this can be avoided. Always pick cobs just before cooking. I'm told sugars in the cobs start turning to starch once they're picked, so freshly picked and cooked cobs will be the sweetest.
Have grown corn this year and they did very well, then were attacked by rats and they ate the lot. How can I protect the cobs next year from these pests. Any help would be grateful
I work in Munich and have window boxes on my veranda. My friend was making some popcorn in the summer and without my knowledge she put some in my window boxes. To my amazement they germinated started grown and now I have loads of plans most about 2 foot with one fruit on each and I keep watering them. As I live in the rural area there are many sweet corn fields already harvested with some plats over seven foot tall with up to six cobs per plant. I noticed how close together they were planted 8 inches apart in rows 16 inches apart. However my cobs are no way ready and I hope to pick them before the frost gets them.
Message for Charmian McDermid; where did you get your mealie seed? Sweetcorn is OK for some, ut the real taste sensation comes from a FRESH green mealie roasted in it's shucks over a proper braai!!
hi, I'm Ben, I'm 13 and really love gardening, I'm going to grow sweetcorn this year can you give me any advice ?


Hi Ben, I'll be sowing my sweetcorn in deep pots (I usually use Root-trainers) in mid April, in my greenhouse. The seedlings produced are planted out at the end of May, or even early June. Do you have a greenhouse? If not then sow seed directly outdoors where you want them to grow, following directions on the seed packet. As plants need spacing about 45cm apart in blocks you'll need quite a bit of space. Each plant will produce one or possibly two cobs, ready to harvest later in August. I always choose a tendersweet variety.
hi, i did have a plastic greenhouse until it blew away. my granddad is going to buy me a new one soon . Is it ok to sow them in a cold frame because i have one of those. Thanks for the advice.
hi i grew sweet corn last year it was very healthy ang grew to about 6 ft the cobs looked really big but when i picked them the corn had not formed properly it was september i planted them in early june any one know the reason for this
Please help. Where can l buy some maize seeds in the UK not sweet corn. Please help. Thank you
Reply to nqomoyo: I always thought maize and sweetcorn were one and the same thing. Do you have a variety name?
This is my first time growing sweetcorn so ive been very surprised at my results.I planted nine seeds in a square and have managed to get two or three kernals on each plant.
Reply to Mrs Matthews: Great results for your first time! My sweetcorn is also growing well this year, and like you it does look as if many of the plants are carrying two or three developing cobs. Can't wait until they're rip later in August or early September!
I have grown sweetcord for the first tiem this year!!!! They are doing very well and all looks good , I have peeled back some of the leaves to reveal the cob, they look very pale, white even, do I leave them longer to go yellow??
Andrea: It depends what variety you are growing. Some sweetcorn are golden-yellow, but others produce very pale cream cobs. I'm not sure in what part of the country you live either, or how early they were sown and planted, but from my experience growing sweetcorn in the Midlands I wouldn't expect sweetcorn cobs to be ready to harvest quite yet. I wouldn't expect my swetcorn to be ripe until later in August. Firstly the tassels need to have turned brown. Then peel back the sheath from a cob and just push a nail into a cob to check for milky liquid to come out (not clear).
Hi, I have sweetcorn growing well in my garden & have just read about harvesting when the silks are brown & drying... I have a few cobs on my plants with brown shrivelled silks & had a peek in one. The cob is small & the corn is small & very pale in colour... does they require more time to grow... I am confused? They are Mr Fothergills sweetcorn (sparrow F1)


It is still very early to expect fully developed sweetcorn. I'd check cob development again in about 4 weeks time, during the second half of August.
I have sweetcorn growing in large pots. but they dont yet have any cobs growing. what time of year are they supose to start? i have been giving them some of the tomato food
in 2010 i grew sweetcorn and each plant had 2 or more cobs. then one day the silky tassels just disappeared. the corn inside had not developed even though i planted in block. any ideas as to what happened? the previous year i tried to grow mini dop. they where large. both times the plants look healthy and were well watered and were grown in raised beds. i am hoping that this year i might actually succeed with some advice from someone out there.
Oh dear. It seems I may have made the same mistake that you made last year Adam. I have 5 plants within about 3 feet of each other. I have kept them well watered and they seem to be doing ok. How do you know when they are ready to harvest?

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