Indoors - although it's possible to sow outdoors in the
south of England, better results are normally achieved by
How to Sow
2.5cm/1" deep - 2 seeds per 7.5cm/3" pots of seed
compost. If possible use peat pots to avoid root
disturbance when planting out later.
Remove weakest seedling leaving 1 plant per pot and allow to
grow on indoors until the end of May.
Growing on - in Pots
Not generally recommended due to the height and pollination
requirements. However if you have several wide pots you can
try planting them 5 to a pot.
Growing on- in ground
At the end of May, gradually harden plants off before
planting out. It is very important to plant in blocks not
rows as the plants need to be grouped together in order for
them to pollinate and produce corn. Space the plants a
maximum of 45cm/18" apart each way - a couple of inches
closer if you like. Water in after planting.
Although these plants are very tall, they should not need
staking unless they are grown in a very exposed area. If
roots appear at soil level during the season, cover these
Water during dry periods, particularly at flowering time.
Once the tassels at the top have formed in late June/July,
gently tapping each plant will aid pollination. Apply a
liquid feed once the cobs begin to swell.
Start harvesting the cobs once the silks have turned a very
dark brown. Test for ripeness by pulling back park of the
sheath and pressing your fingernail into a kernel. If it
exudes a creamy liquid then the corn is ready.
Carefully twist the cob from the stem. Do not wait too long
to harvest as the older the cobs get, the tougher and more
doughy they become.
Large galls appear on cobs and stalks.
Cut the galls off as soon as they appear and before they have
burst open and burn Chemical
1. Burn all infected plants after harvesting
2. Practise crop rotation
Seedlings develop ragged and twisted leaves, growth and cob
production are stunted.
Organic None Chemical Spray seedlings with a pesticide containing phorate
Practise crop rotation
Grow Sunflowers, beans, peas, courgettes, squash. cucumbers, or melons close by
Create a bio-diverse environment by planting flowers
nearby to attract bees, ladybirds and other "friendlies".
To learn more about companion planting click
In the Kitchen
harvested just before use otherwise store in a cool, dry place for up to 3 days
Excess amounts can be frozen. Prepare as below then blanch in boiling
water for 2-3 minutes, drain well and allow to cool before
Remove the papery sheath and the stringy threads (silks) then cut off
the stem if present. Wash well. They can then be cooked whole, cut
widthways into sections or thick slices. Alternatively, the kernels can
be removed from the cob with a sharp knife. The easy way to do this is
to cut off the stem end so it can be steadied on a work surface, then,
starting at the pointed end, cut down to the base as close to the
central cob as possible.
Never add salt to the cooking water as this toughens the kernels.
Whole = 20-35 minutes. Coat with oil or melted
Whole = 8 - 15 minutes Do not add salt to the
water Kernels = 5 - 10 minutes Do
not add salt to the water