How to grow sweetcorn

Do it:

May, Jun

Takes just:

45 minutes

At its best:

Aug

Nothing beats the taste of freshly-picked sweetcorn in late summer and growing your own couldn't be easier. Sow your own seeds or buy young seedlings to plant now and grow them in a block on the veg plot. Or use them decoratively, planting them in large pots or growing them as exotic-looking crops in borders.

You will need

  • Sweetcorn seeds or plants
  • Modular seed trays and multi-purpose compost if raising from seed
  • Dibber or pencil
  • Trowel

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If growing your own sweetcorn from seed, fill modular seed trays with multi-purpose compost. Sow a single seed in each, pushing them just under the surface. Water well.

After germination, wait until the roots of seedlings have reached the base of the seed tray cell before planting out. Long, root-training modules such as this (see picture) encourage longer root development. Water the compost well before planting out.

Using a garden trowel, plant seedlings into well-prepared ground, ensuring that the top of the compost ends up level with the surrounding soil surface. Plant in a block rather than in long rows because sweetcorn is wind pollinated.

Sweetcorn works well grown in large containers filled with multi-purpose compost. Grouped with other container veg they make an attractive feature in their own right.

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Sweetcorn plants grow very tall, so take care not to position them where they will shade neighbouring veg plants.

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