Gardens - Fruit & Vegetable Gardening

Summer stalk: Growing corn

Larry Hodgson
Photography by
Roger Yip

Fresh-from-the-field, sweet corn brings the golden sunshine of late summer to the dinner table

Container corn
Corn grows surprisingly well in containers on a balcony or patio. You'll need large tubs, at least 60 centimetres wide and deep. Sow equidistantly, about 15 centimetres apart, two or three seeds per cluster, then thin to the strongest plant per cluster. Keep soil moist and fertilize regularly; minerals quickly leach out of containers.

Baby corn—the tiny, immature cobs in salad bars and Chinese food—is fun to grow. There are specific baby corn cultivars, such as ‘Bonus' (possibly the best for cold climates), ‘Jubilee' and ‘Chires Baby', but any sweet corn will produce baby cobs: just grow the plants more densely (five to 10 centimetres apart) and harvest as soon as the silks emerge. Harvesting early stimulates cob production, so you'll get four to six cobs per stalk rather than one or two full-sized cobs.

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