How to grow Sweetcorn

There is nothing tastier than homegrown sweetcorn. This maize variety, with its juicy kernels and iconic golden hue, brings a touch of sweetness to any garden.

Sowing and planting

Start sowing seeds from mid-April to May. Sow in modules and burying the seeds approximately an inch deep. Sweetcorn dislikes cold conditions, so maintaining a warm environment is key.

As the seedlings mature, gradually harden them off and by late May, they should be ready for planting into the plot. Select a sunny, sheltered location with fertile soil to accommodate your crop. Prior to planting, enrich the soil with generous amounts of organic matter to provide essential nutrients. To conserve moisture and deter weeds, consider mulching around the base of each plant.

Sweetcorn are wind-pollinated, arrange the plants in blocks rather than single rows.


The cobs are normally ready to pick when the tassels turn a rich brown hue. To confirm they are ready, gently squeeze a kernel; if a creamy liquid emerges, your sweetcorn is ready for harvesting. Conversely, if the liquid appears clear, the cobs requires additional time to mature fully.

Pests and Diseases

It’s essential to keep an eye common pests such as mice and birds. Mice, with their voracious appetite for sweetcorn seeds, can pose a threat during the germination phase. Protect your precious seeds with wire netting to deter these curious nibblers. Additionally, keep a watchful eye out for avian intruders like crows and jays, notorious for swooping in to sample developing cobs. Employing protective measures such as netting or scare tactics can help safeguard your harvest from these airborne raiders.


When selecting cultivars for your garden, consider notable varieties renowned for their productivity, flavor, and disease resistance:

  • Lark F1: A mid-season variety that performs better in cooler conditions than many other varieties, Lark F1 is a great sweet corn for Northern European climates. It boasts an excellent, super sweet flavour and the plants are not too tall, making them perfect for the average size allotment.
  • Swift F1: Easy to grow, extra sweet and juicy, Swift F1 sweet corn is an early-maturing, vigourous producer ideal for first time corn growers.

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