Sweet corn

Sweet corn requires good drainage and enough humus to ensure the ground remains moist and doesn’t dry out too fast. Ideally, the soil should also be slightly acidic, reasonably fertile and deep. Choose a sunny spot which is sheltered from the wind. Dig the site in winter and incorporate compost if the previous years’ crops were not manured, then rake in some Growmore fertiliser about 2 weeks prior to planting. To enable effective pollination, sweet corn must be planted in rectangular blocks rather than a single row.

Sowing time

End of May – June.

Crop care

If birds are a problem, protect seedlings with black cotton. Hoe to keep down weeds, making sure you don’t damage the plants, and water in dry weather, especially during flowering. Support the sweet corn with stakes if the plants are tall or the site is exposed. Tapping each tassel at the top of the stem during June/July will help pollination, and liquid feed when the cobs begin to swell.


Test the cobs for ripeness when the silks turn brown. Pull back part of the sheath and squeeze a couple of grains between your thumb and finger. If the liquid is watery, the sweetcorn still isn’t ripe – when it’s creamy, they’re ready to pick.