How To: Grow Delicious Corn

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How to: Grow Delicious Corn - by Benson - Swedish Design

How to: Grow Delicious Corn

Is there anything better than a grilled corn cob with butter in the summer? We don't think so, except maybe a homegrown corn cob. However, growing corn at home can be a bit tricky, but with this guide, we hope to simplify the process for you.
What makes corn a bit challenging to grow is the soil temperature, as it needs to be relatively high when you plant your corn seeds, which makes it more difficult to plant the higher up in the world you live. You can solve this by pre-germinating your seeds indoors as early as March, using soil that has been indoors for more than 3 days. To pre-plant your corn seeds, start by placing the seeds in a pot or in a mini greenhouse, then re-plant them when they have grown to be over 10 cm tall. If you use a pot, it may be good to cover it with plastic to keep the humidity high. When it's warm enough outside, around June, it's time to plant them outdoors.

Here's how you do it, step by step:

  1. Place your seeds in a pot or mini greenhouse with a soil temperature above 15°C.
  2. Water and cover with plastic.
  3. Re-plant when the plants are over 10 cm tall.
  4. Begin acclimating your plants by keeping them outdoors during the day and bringing them in as evening approaches.
  5. Plant outdoors when the air and soil temperatures are warm.
  6. Remove your plant from its current container.
  7. Give your plants plenty of space, preferably over half a meter apart.
  8. To protect from cold, cover the plants with a fiber cloth during cold nights.

What do I need?

To grow corn, you'll need, in addition to corn seeds and soil:

What kind of corn should I plant?

There are many different types of corn you can plant, and the variety you choose depends entirely on your preferences and what you intend to use it for. Do you want corn for making popcorn? There's a variety for that. Do you want a sweeter corn for salads or as a side dish? There's a variety for that too. Regardless of what you plan to do with your corn after harvest, there's a variety that suits you. If you don't want any corn to harvest but just want decorative grass, I can recommend planting popcorn kernels directly, as these won't yield a harvest but will grow into a nice, reed-like grass.

The most important thing is to read the package to see which corn suits you and your planned planting location best. Some corn varieties are purely decorative, so make sure to read up or ask the staff if the variety you've chosen is edible if that's what you intend to do with your corn after harvest.

How do I plant corn?

To plant corn from seed, start by placing warm soil, preferably over 15°C, in a small pot or mini greenhouse, a few centimeters deep, then water and cover with plastic. Make sure the soil remains moist and that there is humidity inside the bubble around the plant.
When your corn begins to grow and reaches 10 cm tall, it's time to transplant it into a larger pot. If you plan to keep your corn in a pot when planting outdoors, you can choose the pot you intend to use, otherwise, choose one larger than your previous one. Keep the soil moist until it's time to plant your corn outdoors. When it comes to planting outdoors, do it as late as possible, from the end of May to the end of June. Until then, it's good to acclimate your plant to the outdoor climate by moving it outside during the day and bringing it in in the evening. By doing this, you give your corn good conditions to cope with the climate here.
When the outdoor air is wonderfully warm, it's time to move your corn outside permanently. It's now time foe you to choose whether to keep it in its large pot or plant it in a raised bed or open field. To plant your corn, simply pull up the plant and place it in a hole deep enough for the entire root ball. When planting more plants, space them well apart, preferably over 0,5 m or more between plants. It's also good to use garden markers to know which variety is where.

How do I care for and water my corn?

Corn is a plant that doesn't like cold, so covering it with a fiber cloth during cold nights helps it grow strong. Water generously in the morning, both on the leaves and on the soil, to keep the soil moist. By watering in the morning, you allow the water to get absorbed properly into the soil, rather than evaporate during the day.
It's also a good idea to weed often so your corn doesn't have to compete for nutrients and water with the weeds.

When should I harvest my corn?

You'll know it's time to harvest your corn when the "hair" on it has withered and turned brown, and your cobs have acquired that lovely yellow color, if you've chosen a yellow corn variety, of course! You can also feel the kernels; they should be firm when they are ready to be harvested. It's a good idea to leave the leaves on, as this can provide a bit longer shelf life for your corn. To store your corn best, you can ideally keep it in a plastic bag in the fridge. If you've chosen a decorative corn, you can create a beautiful flower arrangement, in, for example, one of our wine crates.
Good luck!

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