LIMITED STOCK THIS YEAR
It has taken us over ten years to find an organically grown Sweet Corn grown in Western Australia.
We will have a larger supply next year and any Western Australian customers who can grow this organically we will be interested in buying back seed stock. If you are interested please contact us.
• Temperature. Sow or plant corn directly in the garden two weeks after all danger of frost is past and the soil has warmed to 60°F. In cool regions and where cool weather persists, spread black plastic on the planting area to speed ground warming, or sow seed in sun-warmed ridges about 3 inches above the planting bed. Protect young seedlings from chilly nights with a floating row cover.
• Indoor seed starting. Corn can be started indoors in peat pods to avoid disturbing the roots at transplanting time. Seeds germinate at 50°F. Seedlings should go into the garden within a couple of weeks of emergence; this is important to avoid a check in growth. Time indoor sowing so that corn goes into the garden when the outdoor temperatures are very warm; corn loves heat.
• Sowing. Early in the season, sow corn seeds 1 inch deep; after the weather has grown hot in mid-summer, sow corn 3 to 4 inches deep. Set seed 2 to 3 inches apart in rows; space rows 30 to 36 inches apart. (Closer spacing will result in smaller ears at harvest.) Make successive sowing every 2 to 3 weeks for a continuous harvest summer into fall or plant early, mid season, and late varieties at the same time.
• Feeding. Corn is a heavy feeder. Place a band of aged compost in a furrow two inches from where you are going to sow the seed and an inch deeper than seed level. Feed corn with a high-nitrogen fertiliser or side-dress with aged compost when stalks are 8 inches high and again when they are 18 to 24 inches high. Corn will grow particularly well where nitrogen-setting beans and legumes have grown the season before. The winter before planting corn, add aged manure and compost into the planting bed and work it into the soil with a garden fork.
• Weeding. Corn is shallow rooted; competing weeds can rob corn of nutrients and moisture. Keep weeds out of the corn patch especially during the first month of growth. After that, control weeds by applying thick mulch of compost. A cover crop of nitrogen-setting clover planted a month after corn is planted will also keep weeds down.
• Pollination. Corn is wind pollinated (and easily cross-pollinates). Planting corn in short blocks of 3 to 4 rows rather than a single row will aid wind pollination and increase yield. To avoid cross-pollination, plant different corn varieties at least 100 or more feet apart or plant so they tassel two weeks apart. (A corn stalk is topped by a flowering tassel that produces pollen. Wind carries the pollen to silky threads on the ears a quarter the way down the stalk. Each silk is connected to an unfertilised kernel. The number of kernels in an ear is the same as the number of silks that were pollinated.)
• Lodging. If maturing corn stalks begin to fall over (called “lodging”), simply straighten them up and pack some soil around the roots and crown of the plant. Hilling corn early in the season may prevent lodging: use a hoe to draw up soil around the stalks as they mature.
• Harvest. Harvest is near when ears are plump and silks have withered, about three weeks after the silks appear. To know when to pick corn–apart from ears being plump, pull back part of the husk and pierce a kernel with your thumbnail. If there a milky juice spurts out, the sweet corn is ripe. (If the juice is watery, the corn is immature. If the juice is pasty, the corn is past its prime.) Corn is at is peak of sweetness for two to five days.