Sweet corn is a popular vegetable with home gardeners. It tastes best when harvested fresh from the garden. Sweetcorn can be grown in any garden with enough space.
When is the best time to plant sweet corn in Arkansas?
Sweet corn can be planted from early spring to early August. It needs warm soil for germination. Soil temperature should be 55 degrees or higher for normal sweet corn varieties. Sugar enhancer and super sweet varieties will not germinate in fresh soil. These varieties should not be planted until the soil temperature is above 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
What should I do to prepare for planting?
Choose an area with deep, well-drained sandy loam soil. Next, collect about a pint of soil from the area you selected to plant your sweet corn. Take the soil you collected to the extension office to submit to the lab for testing. The analysis of your soil is free. A key thing to note is that the soil pH for growing sweet corn should be above pH 6.0. You also need a large garden because each plant produces only one or two ears. You need at least 80 feet of row to produce enough sweet corn for a family of four.
How to plant sweet corn?
Sweet corn is grown from kernels (seeds). Seeds should be planted ½ inch deep in cool, moist soil and 1 to 1 ½ inches deep in warm, dry soil. The grains should be spaced 9 to 12 inches apart. You should plant two or more rows of each candy variety. Plant rows of corn side by side to ensure good pollination and ear development. Also, leave 30 to 36 inches of space between each row of sweet corn.
Is there a lot of care in growing sweet corn?
You will need to fertilize and control weeds when growing corn. Apply fertilizer as recommended by the soil test. Sweet corn will need nitrogen to produce a crop. Apply half the nitrogen preplant and the other half the nitrogen when four to five leaves are fully developed. Both phosphorus and potassium must be applied pre-plant. Weeds can be controlled by superficially cultivating. Lack of water at critical times can reduce quality and yield. If rainfall is low, irrigation will be required.
What are common problems with growing sweet corn?
Sweet corn can be affected by insects and disease. Some common insects that cause damage to sweet corn are corn earworms, European corn borers and flea beetles. Corn earworms are a problem every year. Insecticides can be applied or resistant varieties can be planted. Diseases such as Stewart’s wilt and smut can also affect sweet corn.
When to harvest sweet corn?
Home garden corn is ready to harvest when the silks are brown and dry and the unshelled cobs are firm.
Each stalk of corn must produce at least one ear of corn. Sweet corn is picked in the “dairy stage”, when the kernels are not fully ripe. This stage will occur about 20 days after the appearance of the first milk filaments. The grains will be smooth and plump. The juice from the beans will be milky when pricked with your thumbnail. Some other signs that indicate when corn is ready to harvest are drying and browning of the silks, fullness of the tip kernels, and firmness of the unshelled cobs.
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