The Garden Community for Garden Lovers



for the last three years i have trying to grow sweetcorn on my allotment , i have failed everytime i don,t know what i am doing wrong whether i am over watering it or not watering it enough or there is something else i am doing wrong please help me thanks phil

More blog posts by weedkiller



Hi Phil!

This plea might get more answers if posted under "Questions", but that is by-the-by. Click on "S" at the bottom of this page, and you will find that there is a sweetcorn page in the GOYpedia (Grows on You's own online encyclopedia. There is a lot of info there.

However, I can only let you know what I do, in case there is anything you are missing. In the past, I had a small area of garden to grow this in, now I grow them in growbags or large pots. Nevertheless, my process is the same, and I can grow cobs successfully here.

I always sow the seeds in clear plastic drinking beakers at the end of April, and keep indoors, hardening off from end of May. 2-3 weeks before transplanting them outdoors, I feed the bed/containers by digging in some fish/bone/blood. You are supposed to give another dose later in the growing season, but I never have, because I don't want to break the plant roots (corn being shallow-rooters). Because the roots are just below the surface, I do not think that you can overwater sweetcorn, but ensure that the water is all going onto the soil, and not the stems and leaves.

The planting pattern for sweetcorn is, of course, vital. A distance of 15" minimum between stalks is important; more importantly, the corn should be planted in a block, or grid, formation. The ideal layout would be a square comprising 16 plants (4 X 4), but I have never grown as many, usually just 12 (4 X 3). This is because the plants rely mainly on wind for pollenation/fertilisation. you can always help this by gently shaking the canes yourself to disperse the pollen.

You may well know all this already, of course. :-)

25 Jun, 2010


Well worth the effort is Sweetcorn, by far better than old ones from the shops. The natural sugars turn into starch after picking so keep trying Phil. While I'm about it, Should I remove any suckers that come from the base?

25 Jun, 2010


Some useful info there David....I've only tried a half a dozen plants this year, but they are closer together than 15"....eek....well I have no extra room for them.
Variety is important too I think. The variety "Sundance" has been bred particularly for those of us in "cooler" climates......

26 Jun, 2010


Never had suckers, Heron, but would do so, to keep the plant's energy concentrated on producing cobs.

Didn't think about variety, Alice - good point.

26 Jun, 2010


Now, having thought about "suckers", I think, Heron, that you are referring to the side-shoots, most of which emerge from the parent stem at ground level.

You must NOT, repeat NOT, remove these, as this is where the edible cobs are most likely to form, having been pollinated from the "tassles" above them.

2 Jul, 2010

Add a comment

Featured on

Members who like this blog

  • Gardening with friends since
    16 Nov, 2008