Growing the Best Sweet Corn
On this week’s episode, Greg is discussing all the essentials needed to grow the best sweet corn in the garden. The three most important factors when growing the best sweet corn are pollination, irrigation, and fertilization. When it comes to planting corn it should be planted in blocks or squares because corn is pollinated by the wind. Planting in blocks instead of long rows ensures that once the crop starts tasselling the wind can effectively pollinate the corn. Corn is a self-pollinating plant that produces a male flower, which is commonly referred to as a tassel, and a female flower, which is commonly referred to as the silks. In order for kernels of corn to be produced by the plant, the male flowers must pollinate the female flowers. The male flower is located at the very top of the plant whereas the female flower is formed along the stalk of the plant. The male flower contains the pollen, which is primarily spread by wind, that will be used to pollinate the female plant in the garden. Another major factor of growing sweet corn is it needs plenty of irrigation to grow in the garden. We recommend using drip tape because it ensures all the water is going directly to the plant roots where they need it the most to grow in the vegetable garden. Since corn is a heavy feeder it needs plenty of fertilizer to grow healthy plants. Before planting the corn, at pre-plant Greg likes to add a good amount of compost down in the garden. Then, once the corn gets around knee-high, he starts fertilizing with the fertilizer injector through the drip system. Greg recommends injecting 20-20-20 which is a water-soluble fertilizer through the injector. As well as, Chilean Nitrate which is a 16% soluble nitrogen that is a great source for corn in the garden. When growing the best sweet corn these three important factors such as pollination, irrigation, and fertilization can all ensure that you produce the most productive and healthiest sweet corn in the vegetable garden all throughout the growing season.
Sweet Corn Varieties
There are several different varieties of sweet corn that are all productive and have a great flavor profile. Greg’s favorite variety is Silver Queen which has been a popular old-fashioned sweet corn variety that has been grown in the vegetable garden for years. It usually grows 8 to 9 inches tall and produces ears that are 8 to 9 inches long. Another well-known variety is the Honey Select Sweet Corn. This variety is an All American Selections winner and is a sugary enhanced hybrid that has an excellent flavor profile. The sugary enhanced Peaches and Cream variety contains bicolor ears that are white and yellow kernels that have two different flavor profiles. While the Stowell’s Evergreen is an heirloom, open-pollinated variety that produces consistent 8-inch white kernels that have a great flavor profile and stores well after harvesting from the vegetable garden.