Grow Delicious Sweetcorn
December and January are generally “go slow” months in the vegetable garden, given the extreme weather and the family commitments that many people have at this time of the year. However, if you have the time and there has been enough rain – delicious juicy sweetcorn’s are a great option.
Sweetcorn is a demanding crop nutritionally, so the soil needs to be very well-prepared and enriched to get a good crop. Hill the soil to improve drainage. Water soil well and let sit for a week before planting.
Dig over the soil to a spade’s depth and incorporate a wheel-barrow load of compost and/or well-rotted manure per square metre. Given the right planting conditions, this amazing veggie can soon become the giant in your patch!
Organic fertilisers are the best food for your Sweetcorn crop! Qld Organics blood and bone is a good choice for your sweetcorn. Topped up with a generous helping of Organic Xtra your Sweetcorn will be loving you this Christmas.
Sweetcorn needs plenty of sunshine to thrive – at least 6 hours a day, so make sure to plant in a sunny spot! Daytime temperatures need to be consistently above 15°C for successful planting. Strong winds can damage tall plants so be sure to also choose a protected spot.
Cobs are ready for harvesting about 3 weeks after flowering commences. The first sign of maturity is when the silks at the top of the cobs have turned brown. Peel back some of the protective husk and pierce a single kernel with your thumb nail. It should release a milky liquid. If it’s clear it needs more time. If there’s no liquid, the sugars have converted to starch, which means it’s over-ripe.
Tip: Sweetcorn can over-ripen quickly, so be sure to check cobs daily.
To harvest, twist cobs with a sharp movement downward to remove from plant. Corn cobs will store well in the fridge for a week or two ?
Australian Sweetcorn Varieties
Sweetcorn grown in Australia is broken up into two major types: normal and super sweet.
Super sweet differs from the traditional type of sweetcorn as they have a shrunken gene which produces twice the level of sugar and also reduces further the rate of sugar conversion to starch. The result is a very sweet cob and super sweets are now the major type of sweet corn sold in supermarkets.
The normal variety is the type of corn traditionally grown in the past such as Jubilee. It differs from maize by having genes which slow down the conversion of sugar into starch and characteristically has a creamy texture when ripe.
Grown your own sweetcorn and enjoy a juicy corn cob on the Aussie BBQ with butter, salt & pepper! Yum!