Corn Plants

Growing corn in the UK can be a rewarding experience for both experienced and novice gardeners. Not only is it a staple crop that can be used in a variety of dishes, but it also adds visual interest to a garden with its tall stalks and bright yellow ears.

Corn is an easy-to-grow crop that can provide delicious rewards for any experienced or beginner gardener. While it’s often thought of as a summer vegetable, corn can be grown throughout the year in the UK thanks to its high-temperature tolerance and adaptability to different climates.

This guide will walk you through the process of growing corn, from selecting the right variety to harvest time.

How to Grow Corn?

Following our tips below and you will be able to have your own crop of corn to enjoy with the family.

What You Need?

  • Corn Seeds
  • Soil
  • Nitrogen Rich Fertilizer
  • Space
  • Patience

Step 1: Choose the Right Variety

When selecting a variety of corn to grow, it is important to choose one that is well-suited to the UK climate. Some popular varieties include “Lark,” “Swift,” and “Sweet Nugget.”

These varieties are known for their high yields and good disease resistance.

There are many different types available, ranging from sweetcorn varieties such as Floury Summer and Honey Spread, to ornamental varieties such as Zebra Popcorn and Indian White.

It’s also important to consider the type of corn you want to grow. Dent corn is typically used for animal feed, while sweet corn is the type most commonly eaten by humans.

Step 2: Prepare the Soil

Corn requires well-drained soil that is rich in organic matter. Before planting, it is important to add compost or well-rotted manure to the soil to improve fertility.

The soil should also be tilled or turned to a depth of at least 12 inches to ensure good root growth. The pH level should be between 6 and 7.

To ensure proper drainage during wetter months, add some coarse sand to the soil mix and make sure it has been recently fertilised with a balanced fertiliser for optimal growth.

Freshly Prepared Soil
Freshly Prepared Soil

Step 3: Planting

The best time to plant corn in the UK is typically around April after the last frost has passed – although if you live in an area with milder winters then you may be able to start earlier or later depending on local conditions.

Corn should be planted in a sunny location with at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day. When sowing seeds directly into your soil bed, spread them out evenly in block formation.

Seeds should be planted about 1 inch deep and 6 inches apart and germination should take place within 7 – 10 days at which point they will need thinning out once more for maximum airflow & light exposure around each individual seedling.

Step 4: Watering and Fertilizing

As with all crops, watering is essential when growing corn – but it is important not to overwater this particular vegetable as too much water can induce fungal infections like downy mildew which affect both yield and quality of harvested ears!

Instead, aim for regular deep watering every couple of days (ideally early morning) while avoiding splashing water onto leaves if possible – this will promote healthy root systems without drowning plants completely which could lead to further complications later on down the line…

A slow-release fertilizer can be applied at planting time and a side dressing of nitrogen-rich fertilizer can be applied when the plants are about knee-high.

Step 5: Harvesting

Corn is typically ready about 75-90 days after planting, and you should now have yourself a fully mature batch of delicious sweetcorn ready for harvesting!

Wait until ears feel full & plump before cutting them off from their stalks.

Then use a sharp knife & twist each ear downwards towards ground level before pulling away cleanly from the stalk & rind below.

Note: Eat or discard any damaged fruits immediately afterwards as these will not hold up during storage very well.

Damaged Corn
Damaged Corn


Growing corn in the UK can be a fun and rewarding experience. With the right variety, preparation, and care, you can enjoy a bountiful harvest of sweet, delicious corn.

Remember to choose a variety well-suited to the UK climate, prepare the soil, plant in a sunny location, keep the soil consistently moist, fertilize, and harvest at the right time.

With a little patience and care, you’ll be enjoying fresh corn on the cob in no time!

Garden Doctor Trev

Garden Doctor Tips

“Corn is wind-pollinated, and planting in blocks of at least four rows ensures good pollination and a higher yield!”

“Corn can grow quite tall, and it’s important to provide support to prevent stalks from falling over. This can be done by using wooden stakes or tomato cages!”

“Corn is a heavy feeder and planting it in the same spot year after year can deplete the soil of nutrients. Rotating with other crops such as beans or peas can help replenish the soil!”

“Corn competes with weeds for light, water, and nutrients. Make sure to keep the area around the plants weed-free to ensure optimal growth!”

“Birds can be a problem when growing corn, as they often peck at the ears. Cover the plants with bird netting or use reflective tape to deter birds from eating your corn!”

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best time to plant corn in the UK?

The best time to plant corn in the UK is typically after the last frost date in your area, this may vary depending on whereabouts in the UK you live.

How much space do I need to grow corn?

Corn should be planted in rows with a spacing of 12-18 inches between plants. It is also important to have at least 6 hours of direct sunlight per day.

How often should I water my corn?

Corn requires consistent watering to ensure good growth and development. The soil should be kept consistently moist but not waterlogged.

What type of fertilizer should I use for my corn?

A slow-release fertilizer can be applied at planting time and a side dressing of nitrogen-rich fertilizer can be applied when the plants are about knee-high.

How do I know when my corn is ready to harvest?

Corn is typically ready to harvest about 75-90 days after planting. The ears should be full and the husks should be green and tight. The kernels should be plump and milky when pierced with a thumbnail.

Can I grow corn in pots in the UK?

Yes, it is possible to grow corn in pots in the UK, but it is important to use a large enough pot and provide consistent moisture and adequate sunlight. Dwarf varieties of corn may also be more suitable for container growing.

How do I deal with pests and diseases when growing corn in the UK?

Common pests and diseases that can affect corn in the UK include aphids, earworms, and fungal diseases. Regularly inspecting your plants and removing any affected parts can help prevent the spread of pests and diseases. It’s also important to choose a variety that is resistant to common diseases.

Can I grow corn together with other vegetables in the same garden bed?

Yes, corn can be grown with other vegetables in the same garden bed, but it is important to choose companion plants that do not compete for the same resources. Corn requires a lot of space, so it is best to plant it in a separate bed or in a corner of the garden.

How do I save seeds from my corn plants to plant next year?

To save seed from your corn plants, wait until the ears are fully mature and the kernels are hard. Carefully remove the kernels from the cob and dry them in a warm, dry place. Once the kernels are dry, they can be stored in a cool, dry place until ready to plant next year.

How can I ensure a good yield of corn when growing in the UK?

A good yield of corn when growing in the UK can be achieved by choosing the right variety, preparing the soil well, planting in a sunny location, providing consistent moisture and fertilization, and controlling pests and diseases. It’s also important to harvest the ears at the right time for maximum yield.

About Me

Hi, I’m Trev and I’ve been growing things since I can remember. When I was younger, I grew up on a farm, so I have always been around plants and animals. After studying horticulture at university, I decided to start my own nursery which I have run now for 25 years. In my spare time, I run this website – which is a resource for people who want to learn more about their gardens.

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