Bi-coloured sweet corns with a mixture of yellow and white grains are now very popular. This variety boasts both yellow and white kernels. Not only does it taste good, it looks good too! This extra tender hybrid, with a high sugar content that gives a deliciously sweet flavour, when roasted or boiled, is a favourite street-stall snack. Interestingly, sweet corn is often used in desserts and cakes and also as a flavouring for ice-cream.
Sweet Corn is among the most popular of vegetables. Sweet corn is a variety of maize which can be grown throughout the year. The freshly picked cobs, cooked seconds after harvest, taste terrific. The sweet, tender cobs are delicious when boiled briefly and topped with melted butter and eaten straight off the cob. Sweet corn really contains excellent nutritional value and is a source of fiber and vitamin B, also it is a gluten-free cereal. Just soak the ears, husk and all, in a bucket of water for a couple of hours. Then, cook it on your grill, turning regularly. When it's done, pull off the husk, eat and enjoy!
Type of vegetable: Seed â€“bearing
Edible parts: Seeds on ears
Best soil: Grow corn in full sun and a rich garden soil. Soil should be well drained and may be slightly acid. It should be fertile, with a good dressing of balanced fertiliser applied before planting.
How to plant: Sow seeds 1â€ to 2â€ deep, 4 feet to 6 inches apart in rows spaced 3 to 4 feet apart. Corn can also be planted in hills spaced 3 feet apart. Sow at least two rows of corn for pollination (3 or 4 rows are better). Careful sowing in warm moist soil or compost is essential to ensure good germination and the crop can be grown throughout the year. Some home gardeners will plant two seeds close together then, thin out one of them if both grow. Water well after planting, and again two to four days later if there has been no rain.
When to harvest: Ranges from 65 to 95 days depending on variety. Without taking it off the plant, pull back the husk just enough to expose the tip of the ear. If it is not ripe, close it back up and tie a "twister" around it to seal out the bugs. Corn is ready when the silk has dried and turned a dark brown. Check sweet corn for maturity when the silks turn brown by piercing a kernel. A milky liquid in the kernels is a sign of ripeness; test for it by puncturing a kernel with your fingernail. Use immediately after harvesting, the cobs which are tender, nutritious and pleasantly sweet. Corn loses it's flavor very rapidly. Once it is picked, the sugars immediately begin to turn to starch.
How to harvest: Corn is at it's best when the kernels have just filled out. It is best to pick corn just before eating. If you need to store it, harvest corn in the morning when it is at it's peak sweetness. Pull ears down, while twisting, to break them off the plant. It helps to hold the cornstalk with your free hand. This avoids breaking the stalk of the plant.
Care: Keep soil evenly moist, donâ€™t let soil dry out once ears start to form silks. Apply a high nitrogen fertilizer when plants are 12â€ to 15â€ tall and again when they are 30â€ tall. Fertilize with a general purpose fertiliser every two to three weeks. Water regularly in dry weather Water deeply. Keep corn plants well weeded in their early life. Place mulch between the rows to keep weeds down. Keep the plants separate from other sweet corn varieties to prevent cross-pollination and maintain the colours.
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