Not only will growing sweetcorn provide you with a yield of delicious corn, but whilst it is growing, the architectural plants bring height and an ornamental feature to your garden. Another plus is that the height means it also doubles as a windbreak through the summer months. Although they are sturdy and tend to support themselves when growing, it can be helpful to stake them individually to keep them upright and growing well.
A warm, sunny, and sheltered spot is best for sweetcorn. It grows best during long, hot summers, which explains why corn is grown on every continent except Antarctica. However, there are an abundance of varieties available to grow, some which are suited to the cooler temperatures of the UK.
If you are getting a head start, seeds can be sown indoors from mid-April to early May and must be kept at temperatures between 18-21˚C. For sowing outdoors, late spring is best when the soil is 10˚C above. When sowing outdoors, it’s best to sow in blocks instead of rows, spacing the plants around 45cm apart. This is because sweetcorn is wind pollinated meaning the wind carries the pollen from the tassel one plant which is the male part to the silks of the other, the female part. A light breeze can do this, but you can aid the process by tapping the top of the plants when the tassels open to push things along a little.