It is quite easy to plant and manage sweet corn, as you don’t need extensive and elaborate procedures to grow the crop. All you have to do is follow some very simple and vital steps and you get a healthy, disease-free cultivation. The prime things to look into are proper planting procedures, regular watering, preparation of the crop, and so on. Also, one has to perform frequent checks to ensure that the crop is free of pests and diseases. Some of the common infestations seen in sweet corn plants are rust, leaf blight disease, smut, and rot of the seeds, roots and stalk. To help you achieve a good crop, we have provided some simple tips on growing sweet corn, in the lines below.
How To Grow Sweet Corn
Soil conditions should be properly checked before the cultivation of sweet corn. One should ensure that the soil is enriched with adequate humus and there is enough moisture for the proper growth of the plant. Over and above that, it is vital that proper drainage is ensured for a healthy crop. This preparation of the cultivation soil should be done at least one month before sowing the seeds. The soil should also be plowed deeply and then left open for some time, for drying. The main purpose of doing this is to prevent the growth and spread of any soil-borne pathogens from previous crop. At the same time, it helps prevent the breeding of any kind of nematodes. One of the best ways to avoid any kind of crop disease is by opting for sites where the process of crop rotation is followed. Another way to have a great crop is by planting leguminous plants like beans and peas prior to cultivating the sweet corns, as this will enrich the soil with nitrogen, thereby benefiting the cultivation.
Sowing & Plantation
The sowing phase of the sweet corn plant is very important, in order to have a healthy and disease-free crop. Much depends on the soil that is used for cultivation and therefore, the area should be richly endowed with a variety of nutrients. You can also supplement the area with manure and different types of multi-purpose compost, for a better crop. Equally important is the variety of corn that is used for the purpose of cultivation. One should know how to make the right choice, based on the geographic location and the weather conditions. For instance, the "sugar-enhanced" and "super-sweet" varieties are best when the temperature is around 17 degrees, while the normal varieties can be grown even when the atmospheric temperature is around 10 degrees.
Another good way to ensure a healthy crop is by opting for the disease-resistant and fungicide-treated varieties. The process of sowing the seeds should be undertaken around the month of April and in a place that meets the basic growth requirements. You can do this either outdoors or inside a greenhouse, wherein you can control the optimum plant requirements and such other similar parameters. The seeds should be planted about 3 to 4 cm deep inside the soil and watered daily. As the crops reach a height of about 2 cm, it is the time to transplant the seeds that are healthy and fit for cultivation.
Another vital step is to acclimatize the seedlings by placing them in shade, before transporting them to the exact site. Once done, the seedlings are ready for plantation. The plantation of the seeds or seedlings into the soil should be done at a definite space from each other. Normally, the distance between the seedlings should be around 20-30 cm, while it should be around 50-60 cm between the rows. Furthermore, to enhance the process of fertilization, there should be a minimum of 100 plants per block, as corn is wind-pollinated. Plantation of only a few blocks of the crop will result in a lower yield as, it will hamper the process of pollination.
Sweet corn is a low maintenance crop and as such, it is quite easy to take care of the plants. The only thing that needs regular attention is the frequent removal of weeds and maintenance of soil moisture. Any form of soil dryness will result in the curling of the leaves and hence, one should make sure to water the plants frequently.
Once the first silk strands of the crops appear, you can be very sure that it is the time for harvesting. It will take around 20 days more for the corncobs to grow. When they reach a certain length; you can keep checking whether the corns are ready for harvesting or not. Normally, the average duration between the plantation and the harvesting time is around 70-100 days.