Zea mays var. saccharata
Sweet corn is part of the Zea genus. Its scientific name is Zea mays var. saccharata. A type of edible vegetable / grass, it mainly grows as an annual plant - which means it typically only grows best for a single growing season. Sweet corn normally grows with a erect habit to a mature height of 2.00 metres (that's 6.50 feet imperial). This plant tends to bloom in early summer, followed by first harvests in mid summer. Golden Bantam, Silver Queen, Peaches & Cream, Early Sunglow Heirloom, and Swift F1 are some of the most popular varieties of Sweet corn for home gardeners to grow.
Sweet corn is normally quite a low maintenance plant and is normally very easy to grow - great for beginner gardeners!
This plant info is provided by the myfolia gardener's wiki. All details about Sweet corn have been kindly provided by our members.
Soak kernels in water overnight before sowing. Some people suggest buttermilk.Look to ensure a distance 7.8 inches (20.0 cm) between seeds when sowing - bury at a depth of at least 1.17 inches (3.0 cm) deep. Soil temperature should be kept higher than 21°C / 70°F to ensure good germination.
By our calculations*, you should look at sowing Sweet corn about 14 days after your last frost date .
Sweet corn is ready to harvest when the ears feel full. Peel back one of the husks and pierce a kernel with your fingernail, if the juice is milky it is ready.2 Another way of knowing corn is ready is when raccoons have eaten it all.2
Sweet corn should be eaten quickly after ripening. If you have more then you can eat you may can or freeze for later use. The easiest way to store is to simply place whole ears, husk and all, into a freezer bag and freeze as quickly as possible. Then the whole ears may be microwaved or grilled later. Kernels may also be frozen off the cob which saves freezer space.
When harvesting for seed leave the ears on the stalk for as long as possible, preferably a few weeks after the stalk turns brown. Brake the ears off of the stalks and pull back the husks then string up by the husks to dry for 2-3 months. When fully dry the kernels will easily come off from the cob. Hold the corn over a paper bag or other container and twist your wrists in opposite directions (like wringing) to remove the kernels. Store the seeds away from rodents and moisture.3
These plants have been known to grow well alongside Sweet corn so consider planting:
Sunflowers, legumes (beans, peas, soybeans, peanuts, etc), curcubits (squash, cucumbers, melons, etc), amaranth, white geranium, lamb’s quarters, morning glory, parsley, and potato 1
Traditionally climbing peas or beans along with squash were planted around a few stalks of corn. The beans fixed nitrogen for the corn and the corn provided a support for the beans. The squash acted as a living mulch keeping the soil cool and moist and preventing weeds. The squash may also have deterred raccoons and other wildlife. This method is called the three sisters technique.
Sweet corn loves Bean
Beans help to fix nitrogen for the corn and the corn provides a good support for the beans.
These plants will not grow well with Sweet corn so avoid planting these within close proximity:
Sweet corn hates Tomato
The same worm (tomato worm and corn earworm) likes both plants.
These problems, diseases and pests are known to affect Sweet corn plants:
Corn Smut is a fungal disease which turns the corn black and deformed. It is still edible and resembles mushrooms.2 To prevent spread remove affected ears.
Squirrels, rabbits, deer, raccoons, birds. A scarecrow, fence, and/or motion activated sprinklers can help deter these pests. Raccoons may also be prevented by taping nearly ripe corn to the stalk with duct tape.2
Earworms are the larval stage of a moth who lays it’s eggs on the silks. The caterpillars follow the silks and eat the corn. Growing varieties with tight husk tips can help as can putting 5-6 drops of vegetable oil in the tip of the ear as it starts to form.2
Army worm can sometimes attack late varieties.2
European corn borer, Ostrinia nubilalis is a moth and the larvae attack all parts of the corn.4 trichogramma wasps, ladybugs and lacewing, will consume a large number of borer eggs. Stink bugs, damsel bugs, spiders and hover fly larvae feed on young caterpillars.5
Zea mays var. rugosa
Misspellings: Corn on the Cob, Cob Corn, sweetcorn, sweet corn, Maize, Green mealie
19 Jan 2012
Checked the kernels on the biggest ear, just the slightest touch of yellow. No grubs thankfully!
29 Oct 2011
Astronomy Domine is the most reliable sweet corn I have ever grown. It germinates reliably in cold wet spring soil and produces an abundant crop of great looking colorful cobs.
25 Sep 2011
beautiful and delicious. Untroubled by any diseases or insects.
Only thing is, it is slow. But its so pretty in the garden i find that a good thing.
Sweet corn care instructions
How long does Sweet corn take to grow?
Our when to plant Sweet corn estimates are relative to your last frost date. Enter your frost dates and we'll calculate your sowing and planting dates for you!
Popular varieties of Sweet corn
- Golden Bantam
- Silver Queen
- Peaches & Cream
- Early Sunglow Heirloom
- Swift F1
- Early and Often
- Ruby queen hybrid
- Blue Jade/Blue Baby
- Early Golden Bantam
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