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Believed to have been first cultivated in Mexico, sweetcorn, Zea mays, was introduced into Europe in the 16th century and soon became a staple crop. Its deliciously sweet cobs can be barbecued to eat hole or boiled with the kernals separated to add to dishes. There are many sweetcorn varieties, ripening early, mid-season or late, and are therefore suited to different parts of the UK.
Grow Zea mays in blocks rather than in rows, to ensure full wind-pollination. It needs full sun, in moist but well-drained, fertile, preferably acid or neutral soils. Tassels at the ends of cobs turn black as an indication of ripeness.
Plant type: Vegetable
Foliage colour: Mid-green
Sun exposure: Full sun
Hardiness: Half hardy
Skill level: Experienced
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