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A picture of a Sweetcorn

Sweetcorn

Zea mays

Also known as

Maize, Corn, Indian Corn

Mais fg01 by Fritz Geller-Grimm (CC BY 2.5)

Full Sun
Moderate care
Moderate watering
Tender

6a-11b

USDA zone

-23°C

Minimum temperature

Expected size

Height
Spread

2.5m

Max

50cm

1.5m

Min

40cm

1 years to reach maturity

Flowering

  • spring
  • summer
  • autumn
  • winter

This plant has no fragrance

More images

Zea mays convar. saccharata cob (1)
A photo of Sweetcorn
A photo of Sweetcorn
A photo of Sweetcorn
A photo of Sweetcorn

Overview

Zea mays is also commonly known as maize, corn or sweet corn. It is a large annual 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!

Common problems

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

Companion plants

Beans, cucumbers, peas, squash, potatoes, parsley

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.

Wet sites

Hedge plant

Often used as a hedge in the vegetable garden.

Uses

Culinary

Edible

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