Sweet corn is a vegetable that everyone loves. You can eat sweet corn in variety of ways. It can be eaten right off the plants. You can also prepare several food items with them including corn soup, and in combination of other vegetables such as beans or sweet peas. Sweet corn is a good source of rich crabs, vitamins and minerals and when eaten with peas or beans, which are rich in amino acids, it makes a great balanced meal. It can also be added to salads, pasta or rice or beef stews to make a delicious meal.
Sweet corn is usually a summer time crop and needs plenty of sunshine to grow. The plants are also tall and might not be suitable for indoor gardening or backyard greenhouse gardening if you try to grow the traditional sweet corn. There are however certain kinds of sweet corn that can be grown in a green house in your backyard, and the crops will be sweeter than any corn you will buy at the supermarket.
If you have a sunny plot in your backyard, you may try to grow Sweet Symphony, Kandy Korn Silver or Queen in your backyard. If you want to grow them indoors, you need to keep them under a bright lamp where they receive plenty of heat. It is also important to have good flow of air because the corn plants pollinate through wind.
Planting Sweet Corns
To grow corn in your backyard, you need to prepare the soil with good supply of manure and compost. Spring is the best season for planting seeds. If you prepare the soil in fall, let the winter pass and plant the seeds after the last week of spring. The corn plants need plenty of heat and sunshine to grow. Make sure the ground temperature stays high. If necessary cover the ground with plastic, and punch holes in them to plant seeds. Seeds should be planted in blocks, 9-12 inches apart, and 1 inch deep. Keep the rows at least 3 feet apart and instead of making two long rows, make four shorter rows to help pollination. You may apply fertilizers at the time of planting the seeds and the plants would grow rapidly. You also need to water the seeds regularly.
Care for the plants
Corn plants needs to be weeded regularly. Attention should be given to the roots of the plants while taking the weeds out of the rows. Soils also need a regular supply of water and drained properly. The soil needs about 5 gallons of water per square yard. Cover the ground with mulch to prevent evaporation.
The crops are ready for harvesting when the tassels turn chocolate brown. Test for ripeness by squeezing the grain with your fingers. You should be able to tell whether they are ready for picking. If the grains are watery and squirt liquid when you squeeze them, they are not ripe. The cobs are ready for picking when they are creamy, and if they are paste like, they are over ripe. Twist the ripe cobs and take off the ears from the stem. Cook them rapidly because the sugar turns to starch very rapidly after they are picked, and so they may lose flavor.
Corn can be added to any spicy food or too hot food to make them sweet and balance the hot spicy food with sweetness of corn. You can make hot salsa, summer corn cakes, or corn soup at home.