Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Sweet Sweet CORN; It May Not Be Top of Your Crops, but Grow This Delightful Yellow Veg Yourself and Eat It Freshly Picked for a Powerful Hit of Flavour

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Sweet Sweet CORN; It May Not Be Top of Your Crops, but Grow This Delightful Yellow Veg Yourself and Eat It Freshly Picked for a Powerful Hit of Flavour

Article excerpt

Byline: YOUR GARDEN With David Domoney

WHETHER you're a veteran of grow-your-own, or you are just starting to get a patch going, there's one wonderful veggie that may not be at the top of your list as a garden crop - corn on the cob.

But many people in the growyourown community are starting to think again about the benefits of those sweet yellow kernels.

Quite simply, there is an incredible difference in both taste and nutrition between home-grown and supermarket corn on the cob.

Freshly picked tastes so much better because the high sugar levels in sweetcorn begin turning to starch within hours, reducing the flavour.

So when it comes straight off the plant - and into the pan - it's a whole new eating experience.

Sweetcorn really is a wonderful, nutritious crop for your home garden that isn't too troublesome to grow.

Early or mid-season types are more likely to produce a crop in the Irish climate. Late varieties should manage to crop in milder parts of the country.

The earliest you can sow is mid-May, because young seedlings will not handle the frost.

It's not a fussy crop and any fertile garden soil will be adequate enough, but it really does love the sun.

Strong winds and gales will hurt young plants, so a sheltered position is important.

Time-wise, you've missed this year I'm afraid - but there's nothing to stop you preparing a bed this autumn for optimum growing next season.

Do it in the next couple of months and the soil and manure have the opportunity to rot down and be super nutritious for the seeds by spring.

First off, pull all the weeds and give the site a good going over with a fork or a spade. Add your manure or compost and rake that in.

You'll also want to rake in around 100g of general purpose fertiliser per square metre of bed.

When the time comes, sow seeds every 35cm in holes that are around 2.5cm wide. A seed "dibber" is really helpful here if you have one.

Replace the soil then water the whole area properly. Because sweetcorn is wind-pollinated, you need to plant it in blocks rather than rows.

That way, the male flowers at the top of the plant will shed pollen on the female tassels below - which is where the cobs will form and grow. …

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